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Almost 10,000 Children in N.D. Without Health Insurance

A lack of health insurance can have a negative influence on school attendance and participation in extracurricular activities, and increased financial and emotional stress among parents.

Children without health insurance have limited access to health care (whether preventive or ongoing), which can lead to a greater risk of illness and hospitalization. In addition, a lack of health insurance can have a negative influence on school attendance and participation in extracurricular activities, and increased financial and emotional stress among parents.

According to 2010 data, 6.1 percent of North Dakota’s youth (approximately 9,514 children ages 0 through 18) do not have health insurance coverage. Nationally, 8.5 percent of youth (approximately 6.5 million) are uninsured.

This month’s “Insights on Children” publication from North Dakota KIDS COUNT at North Dakota State University focuses on children ages 0 through 18 without health insurance by county.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s Small Area Health Insurance Estimates program produces estimates on health insurance coverage for states and all counties in the nation. Estimates are produced based on models that incorporate data from a number of sources, including Medicaid and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program records, federal tax returns, population estimates and the American Community Survey.

“While the overall rate of uninsured youth in North Dakota remains lower than the national average, there are many areas in our state where more than one in every 10 children lacks health-care coverage,” says Karen Olson with North Dakota KIDS COUNT. “In addition, while this report focuses mostly on the uninsured rates of children in the state, it is important to understand that many children who have insurance have inadequate coverage and limited access to health care.”

A little more than one-third of North Dakota children meet the quality of care standard established by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau in collaboration with the National Center for Health Statistics. This means that 39 percent of North Dakota children have adequate insurance and a usual source for care, and had at least one preventive care visit in the past year. It also means that the majority of children do not meet these criteria (61 percent or approximately 59,000 children).

“Access to health insurance coverage is important for children as they develop and grow into adulthood,” Olson says. “Even more important are efforts to ensure that coverage translates into high-quality health care that leads to positive outcomes for all children.”

“Insights on Children” is available at http://www.ndkidscount.org.


NDSU Agriculture Communication – March 28, 2013

Source:Karen Olson, (701) 231-9730, k.olson@ndsu.edu
Editor:Rich Mattern, (701) 231-6136, richard.mattern@ndsu.edu
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