Insurance Coverage Continuity

Although most children have health insurance, many experience a time when they are not covered over the course of a year. Overall, 11.3 percent of children had a gap in their coverage in the previous year or were uninsured at the time of the survey. This proportion varies substantially, however, by household 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 previous year. Between 17 and 18 percent of children in households whose income is less than 200 percent of the Federal poverty level (FPL) lacked continuous health insurance coverage. Among children in households with incomes between 200 and 399 percent of FPL, 9.8 percent experienced a gap in coverage, as did only 3.3 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 continuous health insurance coverage. Among CSHCN, 9.3 percent experienced a gap in coverage in the previous year, compared to 11.8 percent of children without special health care needs.