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 through employers or purchased directly, or through public programs, such as Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Eligibility for public programs is based on a family’s income, size and other requirements, such as citizenship or immigrant status. Every state has a CHIP program that helps to expand coverage to children who would otherwise be uninsured. Despite the progress achieved through public programs, approximately 6.5 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 including prenatal care, well-child visits and developmental screening for young children, and mental health care for adolescents. Data are summarized by source of payment, type of care, and place of service delivery where appropriate and feasible.
- In 2013, more than 6.5 million children aged 18 years and under were uninsured, representing 8.9 percent of all children in the United States.
- During the 2013–2014 flu season, 58.9 percent of children aged 6 months–17 years received the influenza vaccine, which represented a 2.3 percentage point increase in coverage as compared to the 2012–2013 flu season.
- The proportion of children aged 10–71 months receiving a standardized developmental screening increased considerably from 19.5 percent in 2007 to 30.8 percent in 2011–2012.
- In 2012, approximately 65 percent of children aged 2–17 years received dental care in the past 6 months. The proportion of children receiving dental care was highest among children aged 5–11 years (70.3 percent) and lowest among those aged 2–4 years (45.3 percent).
- A majority of children (96.2 percent) had a usual source of care, such as a physician’s office or health center, in 2012. The percentage of children with a usual source of care was highest among privately insured children (98.2 percent) and lowest among those who were uninsured (73.2 percent).