National Indicators > Health Care Needs and Access to Care

Services Needed but Not Received

For each service, families were asked if their child received all of the care that he or she needed. Children may not receive services they need for various reasons, including financial barriers, lack of access to providers, and competing demands on families’ time.

Overall, 16 percent of CSHCN were reported to need at least one health care service that they did not receive in the past year, and 6 percent needed more than one service that they did not receive. The service most commonly reported as needed but not received was preventive dental care: 6.3 percent of CSHCN overall needed but did not receive preventive dental care. Other relatively common services needed but not received were mental health care (3.7 percent), therapies (3.1 percent), specialty care (2.8 percent), and other dental care (2.6 percent).

Low-income and uninsured children are the most likely not to receive the services they need. For example, children in poverty are three times as likely as children with family incomes of 400 percent of poverty or more not to receive at least one service they need (25 percent versus 7.8 percent).

Uninsured children are also more likely not to receive all the services they need. Of uninsured children, 45 percent were reported to have at least one service needed but not received, compared to 22 percent of children with public insurance, 19 percent of children with both public and private insurance, and 11 percent of privately-insured children.

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