Research Activities, August 2013
Continuity of health insurance for low-income adults increases the likelihood their children will maintain coverage
Children of parents who maintained continuous health insurance coverage had higher odds of remaining insured than those with parents who were uninsured for part of the year, according to a new study. Recent policy and health reform efforts have focused on providing health insurance directly to children. However, despite Federal and State programs, some eligible children remain uninsured.
Using data from 559 participants who took part in the Oregon Health Care Survey, researchers found that the more months the household's adults were covered, the higher the odds of all their children being insured at the end of the study period. For adults with coverage for 28–30 months of the 30-month study period, 91.4 percent reported all of the children in the household were covered when assessed at the end of the study period. Among adults insured for 19–27 months, 83.7 percent reported all children covered, compared with 74.3 percent for children of adults covered 10–18 months, and 70.8 percent of children of adults insured for less than 9 months.
The odds of reporting at least one uninsured child at 30 months were 7.26 times more likely when the adults in the household had the fewest months of coverage (0–9 months of coverage) compared to adults with 28–30 months of coverage. Children who had adults in the household with 10–18 months coverage were 4.98 times more likely to be uninsured, and children of adults with 19-27 months of coverage were 2.33 times more likely to be uninsured compared to adults with continuous insurance. This demonstrates a dose-response relationship between coverage for adults and children in the same household. The study was funded in part by AHRQ (HS16119, HS16181, HS18569).
More details are in "Does health insurance continuity among low-income adults impact their children's insurance coverage?" by Melissa Yamauchi, M.D., Matthew J. Carlson, M.A., Ph.D., Bill J. Wright, Ph.D., and others in the February 2013 Maternal and Child Health Journal 17(2), pp. 248-255.