Study: If parents are uninsured, insured kids may still lack healthcare services

You'd think that if children are insured, they'd be fairly likely to get the healthcare they need. However, a new study suggests that if insured children's parents are uninsured, the children are more likely to miss out on some needed services.

The study, which pooled five years of data from a national survey of U.S. households, looked at 43,000 children ages 2 to 17. Researchers analyzed the data to calculate the children's access to healthcare, accounting for factors like gaps in coverage during the previous year, lack of an established primary-care physician and lack of doctor visits within the past year.

While uninsured children were shown to have the highest rates of unmet healthcare needs, the study also showed access for problems for children of uninsured patients.

Parents who are uninsured often face constraints on getting care for their children, such as the ability to take time off from work, which may cause them to delay care. Also, uninsured parents aren't always sure how to navigate the healthcare system, researchers note.

To learn more about this study:
- read this HealthDay News piece