FIGURE 7.1 Source of health insurance coverage for children ages 0 to 18.

NOTE: Figure combines data reported separately for the 0–17 and the 18-year-old age groups.

SOURCE: Compiled from data from Center for Cost and Financing Studies, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component, 2000.

of children were covered by private insurance, 6 percent by Medicaid, and 16 percent had no insurance (Tang et al., 2000). In neighboring West Virginia, the comparable figures are 54 percent, 35 percent, and 11 percent, respectively. Arizona, Alaska, and Texas had more than 25 percent of children uninsured compared to less than 8 percent in Hawaii, Minnesota, Vermont, and Washington state. These variations reflect a mix of factors including state economic conditions, immigration, demographics, and political choices about such matters as taxation and spending priorities.

In 1999, of children in poor families (at or below 100 percent of the poverty level or $13,290 for a family of three in that year), an estimated 26 percent were uninsured. Of children in near-poor families (up to 200 percent of the poverty level), an estimated 21 percent were uninsured (Broaddus and Ku, 2000).4 In 1999, an estimated 85 to 94 percent of low-income,


One study of high-cost children in California (including those with conditions not likely to cause death in childhood) suggested that children with high health costs were more likely than other children to be covered by private insurance (about one-half) than by Medicaid (about one-third) or other sources (Ku, 1990). In this study, which included individuals up to age 25, younger children were more likely to have costs covered by private insurance and older children (over age 17) were more likely to be uninsured.

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