Raising Women’s Voices

Another problem with a patchwork national health care system? Patchwork family coverage.

Posted in Uncategorized by raisingwomensvoices on October 28, 2008

Neda Semnani of CQ Healthbeat wrote last week about the issue of having both insured and uninsured members in a family, focusing primarily on the problem of insured parents with uninsured children.

“If only some members of a family have insurance, a new study notes, the most typical pattern is that parents go without while their children are insured—particularly since the 1997 creation of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Still, for policy makers trying to figure out how to widen coverage, covering uninsured kids whose parents have health insurance benefits is a big part of the puzzle, the study suggests.”

Families with uninsured children and insured parents are most likely to be low- to moderate-income (not among the nation’s poorest), of Hispanic ethnicity, and living in the South or West.

First steps toward covering uninsured children include expanding SCHIP and boosting outreach and enrollment efforts for this program (considering two-thirds of the children eligible for SCHIP are not covered due to lack of awareness).

Another policy solution could be based in the private insurance market and involve the expansion of partial assistance programs that make private coverage more affordable for families looking to have all members insured under one plan.

See the full article, titled “Solving the Riddle of Patchwork Family Coverage,” here.

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