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Levels of Insurance

Narrative

While most children have some type of health insurance, it may not always meet their needs. The 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health asked parents about their child’s health insurance coverage and related costs and benefits. Based on both insurance status and benefits, four levels of insurance were defined: full and adequate coverage; full and inadequate coverage (or underinsurance); gaps in coverage (child had periods of no insurance coverage in the past year); and uninsured (child was never insured in the past year).1 Overall, 65.7 percent of children were fully insured in 2007, 19.3 percent were underinsured (i.e., covered but did not receive the level of benefits necessary to meet their needs), 10.4 percent had gaps in coverage, and 4.7 percent were consistently uninsured during the past year.

The proportion of children with different levels of insurance coverage varied by a number of factors. Children aged 0-5 years were most likely to have full and adequate insurance coverage (69.3 percent) compared to children aged 6-11 years (64.0 percent) and aged 12-17 years (63.9 percent). Hispanic children were most likely to be uninsured (12.1 percent) and to have gaps in their past-year coverage (16.1 percent). Non-Hispanic White and multiracial children had the highest rates of full and adequate insurance coverage (69.8 and 70.8 percent, respectively).

Underinsurance was most commonly reported among children living in households with incomes 200-399 percent of the Federal poverty level ($20,650 for a family of four in 2007) and least commonly reported among children living in households with incomes below the poverty line (22.8 versus 14.1 percent). Underinsurance was also more common among children in fair or poor health and those with special health care needs.

1 Kogan MD, Newacheck PW, Blumberg SJ, Ghandour RM, Singh GK, Strickland BB, van Dyck PC. Underinsurance among children in the United States. N Engl J Med. 2010 Aug 26;363(9):841-51.

Graphs

This image is described in the Data section.

levels of insurance by race graph

This image is described in the Data section.

levels of insurance by poverty graph

Data

Levels of Insurance Among Children Aged 0-17 Years, by Race/Ethnicity 2007
Race/Ethnicity Percent of Children
Fully Insured Underinsured* Gaps in Coverage Never Insured
*Fully insured but did not receive the level of benefits necessary to meet their needs, based on parent report.
Source: Kogan MD, Newacheck PW, Blumberg SJ, Ghandour RM, Singh GK, Strickland BB, van Dyck PC. Underinsurance among children in the United States. N Engl J Med. 2010 Aug 26;363(9):841-51.
Total 65.7 19.3 10.4 4.7
Non-Hispanic White 69.8 19.8 8.0 2.4
Non-Hispanic Black 64.7 18.5 12.8 4.0
Hispanic 54.3 17.5 16.1 12.1
Non-Hispanic Multiracial 70.8 16.8 9.6 2.9
Levels of Insurance Among Children Aged 0-17 Years, by Poverty*, 2007
Poverty Status Percent of Children
Fully Insured Underinsured* Gaps in Coverage Never Insured
*The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services establishes poverty guidelines for determining financial eligibility for Federal programs; the poverty level for a family of four was $20,650 in 2007.
**Fully insured but did not receive the level of benefits necessary to meet their needs, based on parent report.
Source: Kogan MD, Newacheck PW, Blumberg SJ, Ghandour RM, Singh GK, Strickland BB, van Dyck PC. Underinsurance among children in the United States. N Engl J Med. 2010 Aug 26;363(9):841-51.
Total 65.7 19.3 10.4 4.7
<100% of Poverty 62.0 14.1 15.0 9.0
100-199% of Poverty 57.7 18.2 16.6 7.6
200-299% of Poverty 64.8 22.8 8.8 3.6
300% or more of Poverty 74.7 19.7 4.7 1.0

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