Majority of Uninsured Children Live in Two-Parent Families

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Uninsured Children Are More Than 13 Times as Likely to Lack a Usual Source of Care and Five Times as Likely to Have an Unmet Health Need

A majority of the more than 9 million children without health insurance in the United States live in two-parent families, according to a new report released today. In most of these two-parent families, both parents work.

These were among the key findings in a comprehensive new analysis of uninsured children prepared by the national consumer organization Families USA on behalf of the Campaign for Children's Health Care, a coalition of more than 50 national organizations that is raising public awareness about the plight of uninsured children.

According to the report, the overwhelming majority of uninsured children (88.3 percent) come from families where at least one parent works. Children who are uninsured are far less likely to receive needed health care than insured children:

  • Uninsured children are more than 13 times as likely to lack a usual source of health care as insured children.

  • Uninsured children are more than three times as likely not to have seen a doctor in the past year as insured children.

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  • More than half (54 percent) of uninsured children did not have a well-child visit in the past year, more than double the rate (26 percent) for insured children.

  • Uninsured children are nearly five times as likely as insured children to have at least one delayed or unmet health care need.

"Even though progress has been made in expanding health coverage for children, one out of every nine American children continues to be uninsured," said Ron Pollack, Executive Director of Families USA. "For those 9 million uninsured children, the resulting harm is huge - in denied health care, as well as stunted educational and personal development.

"The problem of uninsured children strikes at the heart of American families," Pollack said. "Among the stunning findings of this report, we learned that a majority of uninsured children live in two-parent families, and almost 90 percent live in families where at least one parent works."

There are huge differences from state to state in the portion of children who are uninsured. The states with the highest rates of uninsured children are Texas (20.4 percent), Florida (17.0 percent), New Mexico (16.7 percent), Nevada (16.4 percent), Montana (16.2 percent), Arizona (16.1 percent), and Oklahoma (16.1 percent).

The states with the lowest rates of uninsured children are Vermont (5.6 percent), Michigan (6.4 percent), New Hampshire (6.4 percent), Hawaii (6.4 percent), Minnesota (6.6 percent), and Nebraska (6.6 percent).

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