6.7M children have no health insurance

Jan. 14, 2010 at 1:48 AM   |   Comments

PORTLAND, Ore., Jan. 14 (UPI) -- More than 6.7 million U.S. children don't have health insurance and nearly 25 percent of insured children lack adequate insurance coverage, researchers say.

Christina Bethell, an associate professor of pediatrics at Oregon Health & Science University, says the National Survey of Children's Health 2007 also reveals significant state-to-state differences on a broad range of health issues for children. For example, 23 percent of adolescents in Utah are overweight or obese compared with 44 percent in Mississippi.

Insured children in Minnesota are almost twice as likely as children in Hawaii to have insurance that does not meet their needs, while 82 percent of children in Pennsylvania received needed mental healthcare services, but only 42 percent of children in Texas received the same access to mental healthcare.

"The survey highlights disparities in health and healthcare quality across states and groups of children," Bethell says in a statement. "The state a child lives in, a child's race, income and neighborhood all significantly impact his or her health."

The national survey was based on 91,642 interviews representing an average of 1,700 children younger than age 18 in each of the 50 states. More than 40 percent of children are not receiving care within a "medical home," defined as care that is accessible, continuous, comprehensive, family-centered, coordinated and compassionate, the study says.

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