Research Activities, May 2013
Percentage of families with fullyear health insurance coverage for both child and parent fell during 1998 to 2008
A new study reveals that from 1998 to 2008 the percentage doubled for families in which children, but not their parents, had full-year health insurance coverage, rising from 6.3 percent in 1998 to 12.7 percent in 2008. During the same time period, the percentage of families with full-year coverage for both parents and children fell from 74.2 percent to 67.2 percent. Little change was observed over this period in the percentage of families with insured parents/uninsured children, or the percentage of families with neither parents nor children insured.
The study also found drastic differences in coverage depending on family income: low-income (less than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level [FPL]), middle-income (between 200–400 percent of FPL), or high-income (at least 400 percent of FPL). The percentage of low-income families with both children and parents insured fell from 54.5 percent in 1998 to 48.6 percent in 2008, while families with children but not parents insured doubled from 12.4 percent to 25.1 percent.
The decline in middle-income families with both children and parents insured also fell from 78.4 percent to 72.9 percent. However, the proportion of high-income families with both children and parents insured fell only slightly from 89.9 percent to 87.6 percent. Other characteristics consistently associated with lack of insurance were living in the South, being Hispanic, having only one parent in the household, and parents who had less than 12 years of education.
The study period began just after the 1997 Children’s Health Insurance Program was passed by Federal legislation. The researchers used data from AHRQ’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey-Household Component. The study was funded in part by the AHRQ (HS18569).
More details are in "Trends in health insurance status of US children and their parents, 1998-2008," by Heather Angier, M.P.H., Jennifer E. DeVoe, M.D., D.Phil., Carrie Tillotson, M.P.H., and others published online September 27, 2012, in Maternal and Child Health Journal.