Insurance Coverage Consistency
Although most children have health insurance, many experience a time when they are not covered over the course of a year. Overall, 15.1 percent of children had a gap in their coverage in the past year or were uninsured at the time of the survey. This proportion varies substantially, however, by family income.
Children in low-income households are more likely than children in higher-income households to have experienced a gap in health insurance in the past year. About 24 percent of children in households with incomes less than 200 percent of the Federal poverty level (FPL) lacked consistent health insurance coverage. Among children in households with incomes between 200 and 399 percent of FPL, 12.4 percent experienced a gap in coverage, as did only 5.7 percent of children with household incomes of 400 percent or more of the FPL.
Children with special health care needs (CSHCN) were more likely than other children to have consistent health insurance coverage. Among CSHCN, 12.3 percent experienced a gap in coverage in the past year, compared to 15.8 percent of children without special health care needs.
Children who live in two-parent families were also more likely to have consistent coverage. Of children in two-parent families, 13.7 percent had a gap in coverage in the past year, as did 16.6 percent of children in two-parent step-families. In contrast, 18.5 percent of children who live with a single mother, and 18.7 percent of children with other family structures, had a gap in coverage (data not shown).