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Health Services Financing and Utilization

The availability of and access to quality health care directly affects the health of the population. This is especially true of those at high risk due to low socioeconomic status or chronic medical conditions.

Children may receive health coverage through a number of sources, including private insurance, either employer-based or purchased directly, and public programs, such as Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Eligibility for public programs is based on a family's income compared to the Federal poverty level. Nearly every state has CHIP programs that help to expand coverage to children who would otherwise be uninsured. Despite the progress achieved through public programs, approximately 7.3 million children remain uninsured in the United States.

This section presents data on the health insurance status and utilization of health services within the maternal and child population. Data are summarized by source of payment, type of care, and place of service delivery. This section also provides the latest data on the health care needs and financing of care for children with special health care needs.