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Assuring Adequate Health Insurance for Children With Special Health Care Needs: Progress From 2001 to 2009–2010

Published:April 09, 2015DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acap.2015.02.002

      Abstract

      Objective

      To report on coverage and adequacy of health insurance for children with special health care needs (CSHCN) in 2009–2010 and assess changes since 2001.

      Methods

      Data were from the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (NS-CSHCN), a random-digit telephone survey with 40,243 (2009–2010) and 38,866 (2001) completed interviews. Consistency and adequacy of insurance was measured by: 1) coverage status, 2) gaps in coverage, 3) coverage of needed services, 4) reasonableness of uncovered costs, and 5) ability to see needed providers, as reported by parents. Bivariate and multivariable analyses were conducted to assess factors associated with adequate insurance coverage in 2009–2010. Unadjusted and adjusted prevalence estimates were examined to identify changes in the type of insurance coverage and the proportion of CSHCN with adequate coverage by insurance type.

      Results

      The proportion of CSHCN with private coverage decreased from 64.7% to 50.7% between 2001 and 2009–2010, while public coverage increased from 21.7% to 34.7%; the proportion of CSHCN without any insurance declined from 5.2% to 3.5%. The proportion of CSHCN with adequate coverage varied over time and by insurance type: among privately covered CSHCN, the proportion with adequate coverage declined (62.6% to 59.6%), while among publicly covered CSHCN, the proportion with adequate insurance increased (63.0% to 70.7%). Publicly insured CSHCN experienced improvements in each of the 3 adequacy components.

      Conclusions

      There has been a continued shift from private to public coverage, which is more affordable, offers benefits that are more likely to meet CSHCN needs, and allowed CSHCN to see necessary providers.

      Keywords

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