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Uninsured kids in middle class have same unmet needs as poor
Date:5/2/2008

Nationwide, uninsured children in families earning between $38,000 and $77,000 a year are just as likely to go without any health care as uninsured children in poorer families. More than 40 percent of children in those income brackets who are uninsured all year see no physicians and have no prescriptions all year, according to new research from the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Theres an assumption that children in families with higher income levels dont need insurance, that they are uninsured but are somehow still receiving health care anyway, said Laura Shone, Dr.P.H., M.S.W., an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center and author of the study being presented today at the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii. This study shows that in reality, a large percentage of these children dont receive any care at all which pediatricians say is unacceptable, and parents know is unrealistic. Even healthy, older children need to see their physicians at least once over the course of a year.

Overall, almost 3 million uninsured children had no medical care 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 may qualify for public coverage but are not enrolled, and about 1 million more could be covered through expansions that were proposed yet vetoed at the national level in late 2007. The percentage of uninsured children who forego all health care for a full year is:

  • 55 percent at 0 to 100 percent of the federal poverty level ($0 to $19,157 for a family of four)

  • 51 percent at 101 to 200 percent of the federal poverty level ($19,158 to $38,314)

  • 42 percent at 201 to 300 percent of the federal poverty level ($38,315 to $57,471)

  • 44 percent at 301 to 400 percent of the federal poverty level ($57,472 to $76,628)
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Contact: Becky Jones
rebecca_jones@urmc.rochester.edu
585-275-8490
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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