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The Effects of Varying Periods of Uninsurance on Children's Access to Health Care (Pediatrics)

March 1, 2009

CHIS Journal Article

Authors: Janet Cummings, Shana Charles, Ph.D., M.P.P., Thomas Rice, Ph.D.

Many studies have documented the adverse consequences of uninsurance for children, but less is known about the differential effects of varying periods of uninsurance. Using CHIS 2005 data, this study examines the relative effects of varying periods of uninsurance (uninsured for 1–4 months, 5–11 months, or all year) on children's access to care. RESULTS. The authors found that children who experience short spells of uninsurance (1–4 months) are less likely to have a usual source of care and are more likely to experience delays in needed care than those with continuous private or public insurance. The consequences are even worse for children who experience more substantial periods of uninsurance, because they are also less likely to receive preventive care (well-child visits and flu shots) or visit the doctor during the year and are more likely to experience delays in receiving needed medical care and prescriptions than those with continuous coverage.

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