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America's Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2016

Health Insurance Coverage

Health insurance is a major determinant of access to and utilization of health care.25 Children with health insurance, whether public or private, have increased access and utilization compared to children without insurance. Further, insured children are more likely to have a regular and accessible source of health care.26 The percentage of children who have health insurance is one indicator of the extent to which families can obtain preventive care or health care for a sick or injured child.27, 28 The likelihood that children have health insurance, and the type of insurance among those insured, varies by race and ethnicity.29

Figure 9: Percentage of children ages 0–17 by race and Hispanic origin and health insurance coverage at the time of interview, 2000–2014
Percentage of children ages 0–17 by race and Hispanic origin and health insurance coverage at the time of interview, 2000–2014

NOTE: Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race. Data on race and Hispanic origin are collected and combined for reporting according to 1997 Office of Management and Budget Standards for Data on Race and Ethnicity. A small percentage of children have coverage other than private or public health insurance.

SOURCE: National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey.

  • In 2014, Hispanic children were more likely to be uninsured (10 percent) than White, non-Hispanic and Black, non-Hispanic children (4 percent each). White, non-Hispanic children were more likely to have private insurance (68 percent) compared to Hispanic (31 percent) and Black, non-Hispanic (34 percent) children. In 2014, Hispanic (57 percent) and Black, non-Hispanic (59 percent) children were more likely to have public coverage than White, non-Hispanic children (25 percent).
  • For children in each racial and ethnic group—Black, non-Hispanic; Hispanic; and White, non-Hispanic—the percentage with public coverage increased and the percentage with no health insurance and with private health insurance declined from 2000 to 2014.
  • Throughout 2000 to 2014, the percentage of uninsured children was higher among Hispanic children than among White, non-Hispanic and Black, non-Hispanic children. During that same period, Black, non-Hispanic children and Hispanic children were more likely than White, non-Hispanic children to have public coverage, and White, non-Hispanic children were more likely to have private insurance.
  • From 2000 to 2014, the percentage of children overall with health insurance increased by 7 percentage points to 95 percent.30 Although the percentage of children with private coverage declined by 13 percentage points during this period to 54 percent, public coverage increased by 20 percentage points to 38 percent.

table icon HC1 HTML Table

25 The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. (2012). The uninsured and the difference health insurance makes. Retrieved from https://kaiserfamilyfoundation.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/1420-14.pdf

26 See Usual Source of Health Care (http://www.childstats.gov/pdf/ac2015/ac_15.pdf) HC2 in America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2015.

27 Howell, E. M., & Kenney, G. M. (2012). The impact of the Medicaid/CHIP expansions on children: A synthesis of the evidence. Medical Care Research and Review, 69(4), 372–396. doi:10.1177/1077558712437245

28 Selden, T., & Hudson, J. L. (2006). Access to care and utilization among children: Estimating the effects of public and private coverage. Medical Care, 44(5 Suppl.), I19–I26. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16625060

29 The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. (2013). Health coverage by race and ethnicity: The potential impact of the Affordable Care Act. Retrieved from https://kaiserfamilyfoundation.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/8423-health-coverage-by-race-and-ethnicity.pdf

30 See figure for Health Insurance Coverage (http://www.childstats.gov/americaschildren/care_fig.asp#hc1) HC1 on childstats.gov.