There’s some great news when it comes to access to healthcare for children! New research indicates more children than ever have access to healthcare and are taking advantage of it thanks to a rise in medical insurance for children.
The journal Pediatrics published the results of the study called “Trends in Access to HealthCare Services For U.S. Children 2000-2014,” which relied on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health Interview Survey. The findings suggest that public policies surrounding healthcare for children are improving access and health outcomes.
Now millions more children have access to doctors and over 9 million more children had well check-ups in 2014 than in 2000. This is mostly because more children have health insurance. The uninsured rate went from over 12% to well under 6% in this 14-year timeframe. The study showed a positive impact for children and families across ethnic and racial groups and socioeconomic backgrounds.
The Children’s Health Insurance Program, which was enacted in 1997 and reauthorized in 2009, may be responsible for much of the improvement in health insurance for children. This program helps families whose employers don’t provide insurance but their income levels do not quality for Medicaid. This section of the population – serving over 8 million children – was widely uninsured.
The American Academy of Pediatrics supports The Children’s Health Insurance Program and other public policies aimed at improving medical insurance coverage as a means to promote regular and consistent care for children. With the proper insurance, children can be immunized on an appropriate schedule and seen for well check-ups to ensure every aspect of their health is addressed. More proactive health treatments and parental coaching can lead to less illness and disease for better overall health outcomes.
Much like breastfeeding, consistent preventative healthcare for children ultimately taxes the healthcare system less and has substantially less economic impact on our country. These findings are exciting and encouraging for the future of children throughout the U.S.
Sources: The American Academy of Pediatrics’ HealthyChildren.org