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Health Aff (Millwood) ; 39(10): 1743-1751, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-814644


Expansion of Medicaid and establishment of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) represent a significant success story in the national effort to guarantee health insurance for children. That success is reflected in the high rates of coverage and health care access achieved for children, including those in low-income families. But significant coverage gaps remain-gaps that have been increasing since 2016 and are likely to accelerate with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the associated recession. Using National Health Interview Survey data, we found that the proportion of uninsured children was 5.5 percent in 2018. Children continue to face coverage interruptions, and Latino, adolescent, and noncitizen children continue to face elevated risks of being uninsured. Although we note the benefits of a universal, federally financed, single-payer approach to coverage, we also offer two possible reform pathways that can take place within the current multipayer system, aimed at ensuring coverage, access, continuity, and comprehensiveness to move the nation closer to the goal of providing the health care that children need to reach their full potential and to reduce racial and economic inequalities.

Child Health Services/economics , Child Health , Children's Health Insurance Program/economics , Healthcare Disparities/economics , Insurance Coverage/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , Coronavirus Infections/economics , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Medicaid/statistics & numerical data , Needs Assessment , Pandemics/economics , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/economics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Poverty , Socioeconomic Factors , United States