Government Agency Navigation

Health Care Visits

Narrative

In 2010, 9.3 percent of children under 18 years of age had not seen a physician or other health care professional in the past year for either sick or routine care (not including overnight hospitalization, emergency department visits, home health care, or dental care). Older children were more likely than younger children to go 12 months without seeing a health care provider. More than twelve percent of children aged 12–17 years (12.2 percent) had not seen a health care provider in the past year, compared to only 4.5 percent of children under 5 years of age.

Health care visits also vary by insurance type and status. In 2010, more than one in four children without health insurance (26.7 percent) had not seen a physician or other health professional in the past year, compared to 9.8 percent with public insurance and 6.4 percent of privately insured children. Across all age groups, uninsured children were most likely to have gone without a health visit in the past year, while privately insured children were the least likely. Across all insurance groups, older children were more likely than those less than 5 years old to have not seen a health care professional. Thus, having no past-year visit ranged from 2.9 percent among privately insured children under 5 years of age to 34.3 percent among uninsured children aged 12-17 years—a ten-fold difference.

The proportion of children going without health care also varies by poverty level and race and ethnicity. In 2010, children living in households with incomes below the poverty level or between 100-199 percent of poverty were about twice as likely as those at 200 percent or more of poverty to have not seen a physician or other health professional in the past year (12.5 and 13.3 percent, respectively, compared to 6.5 percent). About 7 percent of non-Hispanic White children lacked a health care visit (6.8 percent) compared to 10-14 percent of children of other racial/ethnic groups (data not shown in graph images or in data tables on this site).

Graph

This image is described in the Data section.

child reported not to have seen a physician graph

Data

No Contact with a Health Care Professional* in the Past Year Among Children Under Age 18, by Age and Insurance Type and Status, 2010
Insurance Type and Status Percent of Children
Total 0-4 Years 5-11 Years 12-17 Years
*Does not include overnight hospitalizations, emergency department visits, home health care, and dental care; all total estimates are age-adjusted.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. 2010 National Health Interview Survey with multiply imputed poverty data. Unpublished estimates. Analyzed by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau.
Total 9.3 4.5 10.0 12.2
Private Insurance 6.4 2.9 7.3 8.2
Public Insurance 9.8 5.7 9.2 13.7
Uninsured 26.7 10.7 31.1 34.3