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Health Care Financing

Narrative

In 2009, approximately 7.5 million U.S. children under 18 years of age had no health insurance coverage, representing 10.0 percent of the population. More than one-third of children were insured through public programs such as Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (36.8 percent), and 60.4 percent were covered by private insurance.

Children’s insurance status varies by race and ethnicity. In 2009, 74.0 percent and 70.9 percent of non-Hispanic White and non-Hispanic Asian children, respectively, and 70.8 percent of Asian children had private coverage, while the same was true of only 47.1 percent of non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander children, 43.7 percent of non-Hispanic Black children, 41.8 percent of non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Native children, and 36.8 percent of Hispanic children. Over half of non-Hispanic Black, American Indian and Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander children were publicly insured.

As family income increases, private health insurance coverage among children rises and the proportions of children with public coverage and no coverage decrease. In 2009, children living in households with incomes below 100 percent of the U.S. Census Bureau’s poverty threshold ($21,954 for a family of four in 2009) were most likely to have public coverage (74.8 percent) while similar proportions of poor and near-poor (incomes between 100-199 percent of the poverty threshold) children were uninsured (15.1 percent and 14.8 percent, respectively. Children with family incomes of 300 percent or more of the poverty threshold were most likely to have private coverage (89.0 percent), and least likely to have public coverage (12.2 percent) or to be uninsured (4.7 percent).

In 1997, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was created in response to the growing number of uninsured children in low-income working families. Although designed to cover children with family incomes below 200 percent of the poverty level, many States have expanded eligibility to children with higher family incomes.

Graphs

This image is described in the Data section.

health insurance coverage by race and type graph

This image is described in the Data section.

health insurance coverage by poverty and type graph

Data

Health Insurance Coverage Among Children Under Age 18, by Race/Ethnicity and Type of Coverage,* 2009
Race/Ethnicity Percent of Children
Private Coverage Public Coverage No Coverage
*Totals equal more than 100 percent because children may have more than one source of coverage.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division. Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2010. CPS Table Creator. Accessed May 2011.
Total 60.4 36.8 10.0
Non-Hispanic White 74.0 26.2 7.0
Non-Hispanic Black 43.7 53.8 11.3
Hispanic 36.8 52.0 16.8
American Indian/Alaska Native (May include Hispanic) 36.2 51.7 20.6
Asian (May include Hispanic) 70.8 25.3 10.0
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander (May include Hispanic) 44.9 50.7 13.5
Health Insurance Coverage Among Children Under Age 18, by Poverty Status* and Type of Coverage,** 2009
Poverty Status Rate per 100,000 Population
Private Coverage Public Coverage No Coverage
*The U.S. Census Bureau uses a set of money income thresholds to determine who is in poverty; the poverty threshold for a family of four was $21,954 in 2009.
**Totals equal more than 100 percent because children may have more than one source of coverage.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division. Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2010. CPS Table Creator. Accessed May 2011.
<100% of Poverty 16.3 74.8 15.1
100-199% of Poverty 41.0 53.5 14.8
200-299% of Poverty 71.9 26.5 9.9
300% or more of Poverty 89.0 12.2 4.7

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