HEALTH CARE FINANCING
Nearly 12 percent (8.5 million) of children younger than 18 years
of age had no insurance coverage in 2002, a proportion that has
remained relatively stable since 2000.
In 2002, just over one-quarter of all children (26.8 percent) were
publicly insured, primarily through Medicaid, and two-thirds were
covered by private insurance. By comparison, children living in
families with incomes below the Federal Poverty Level were more
likely to have public insurance (63.8 percent) or be uninsured (20.7
percent). Only 21.6 percent of low-income children had private coverage.
In 2002, most uninsured children (64.7 percent) lived in families
whose head was employed year-round, on a full-time basis. Even when
parents are employed, coverage may not be offered or may be prohibitively
expensive. Most privately insured children (88.7 percent) received
insurance through a parent’s employer.
Created in response to the growing number of uninsured children
in low-income working families, the Children’s Health
Insurance Program (CHIP) has enrolled 5.8 million children through
the end of Federal Fiscal Year 2003. As of 2002, children with family
incomes up to 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) were
eligible for coverage through CHIP or Medicaid in 26 States. Twelve
States implemented eligibility levels exceeding 235 percent of the