Nearly half of uninsured children in the U.S. went without any medical care or prescriptions during the year they had no insurance, according to a new study. An even larger percentage of uninsured children went without preventive care, meaning they did not get a yearly physical and may not have received necessary vaccinations.
The study, by Laura Shone, an assistant professor of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center, dispels the myth that the uninsured middle class are simply paying for their children to receive health care.
“There is a great need for health care coverage for children and it is not isolated to the poor. It is moving up the income scale,” Shone said. “This study shows that a large percentage of both lower-income and middle class children who are uninsured do not receive any care at all. We need to be aware that these children need help, too, as we make more coverage options available, especially in this difficult economy.”
Overall, almost three million uninsured U.S. children had no medical care of any kind and no prescription use for a full year, according to an analysis of nationally representative data from the 2004 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Of those, about 1.6 million children already qualify for public coverage but are not enrolled, and about one million more could gain coverage through expansion of the state children’s health insurance program (SCHIP).
MEDICA.de; Source: University of Rochester Medical Center