Trends in the Well-Being of America's Children and Youth, 1997. HC 3.1 Health insurance coverage

04/01/1997

Children who are covered by health insurance are considerably more likely to have a regular source of health care.32 Regular care increases the continuity of care, which is important to the maintenance of good health.

Since 1987, the percentage of children who are not covered by health insurance has stayed stable at 13 to 14 percent (see Table HC 3.1.A). Rates of coverage vary little by age of child, though older children are slightly less likely to be covered.

Differences by Race and Ethnicity. Hispanic children are far less likely to be covered than either white or black children. In 1995, 27 percent of Hispanic children were not covered by health insurance, compared to 13 percent of whites and 15 percent of black children (see Figure HC 3.1.A).

Children Covered by Medicaid. The proportion of children who are covered by Medicaid has grown substantially over time, increasing from 15 percent in 1987 to a high of 24 percent in 1993, before declining slightly to 23 percent in 1994 and 1995 (see Figure HC 3.1.B). Young children are considerably more likely to be covered by Medicaid. In 1995, 30 percent of children under age six were covered, compared to 17 percent of children ages 12 through 17. Finally, a very large proportion of black and Hispanic children rely on Medicaid for their medical coverage. In 1995, 45 percent of black and 37 percent of Hispanic children were covered by Medicaid, compared to 18 percent of white children.
 

Figure HC 3.1.A  
Percentage of Children Under Age 18 Not Covered by Health Insurance, by Race and Ethnicity Group: 1995 

HC3_1A.GIF

Source: Unpublished Tables, based on Analyses from the March Current Population Surveys. Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division, U.S. Bureau of the Census.
 
 

Figure HC 3.1.B  
Percentage of Children Under Age 18 Who Were Covered by Medicaid: 1987-1995 

HC3_1B.GIF

Source: Unpublished Tables, based on Analyses from the March Current Population Surveys. Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division, U.S. Bureau of the Census.
 
 

Table HC 3.1.A 
Percentage of Children Under Age 18 Not Covered by Health Insurance: 1987-1995

 
   
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
All Children
13
13
13
13
13
13
14
14
14
 
Age 0-5
12
13
13
11
11
11
12
14
13
Age 6-11
13
13
13
13
12
12
13
13
13
Age 12-17
14
14
14
15
15
15
17
15
14
 
Race/Ethnicity
  White
12
12
12
13
12
12
13
13
13
  Black
17
16
16
15
15
14
16
17
15
  Hispanic
28
29
30
28
27
25
26
28
27
 
Source: Unpublished Tables, based on Analyses from the March Current Population Surveys. Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division, U.S. Bureau of the Census. 

 

Table HC 3.1.B 
Percentage of Children Under Age 18 Covered by Medicaid: 1987-1995

 
     
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
     
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
All Children
15
16
16
19
20
22
24
23
23
 
    Age 0-5
18
19
20
24
27
30
32
30
30
    Age 6-11
15
15
15
17
19
20
22
22
23
    Age 12-17
12
12
11
14
15
15
17
16
17
                       
Race/Ethnicity
    White
11
11
11
14
16
17
19
18
18
    Black
38
38
37
42
44
46
47
44
45
    Hispanic
26
25
25
30
34
37
39
37
37
 
Source: Unpublished Tables, based on Analyses from the March Current Population Surveys. Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division, U.S. Bureau of the Census. 

 

32 National Center for Health Statistics, "Health of Our Nations Children" 1988. Vital Statistics Health Series, No. 191.
 
 

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