UI study shows low rate of uninsured children in Iowa
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Results from the Iowa Child and Family Household Health Survey on Health Insurance Coverage of Children in Iowa revealed implications for implementation of the Affordable Care Act, including increased incentive for families in Iowa to enroll their children in programs for which they are currently eligible, yet not enrolled.
In 2010-11, 3 percent of Iowa children were without medical insurance. Sixty percent of these children were eligible for either Medicaid or hawk-i, Iowa’s version of the federal S-CHIP program. If all eligible children were enrolled in these programs, all but one percent of Iowa’s children would have health insurance.
With the insurance expansion of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) and individual mandates scheduled to be enacted on Jan. 1, families will be incentivized to pursue insurance plans for their children. Because of the relatively low number of uninsured children in Iowa (three percent in Iowa compared to eight percent in the United States), the impact should be fairly modest.
“Iowa is ahead of the curve as far as covering kids with medical insurance due to previous expansions of the Medicaid and hawk-i programs,” says Peter Damiano, director of the Public Policy Center at the UI and the study’s lead author. He will be part of a webinar on the issue on Tuesday, July 16, at 2 p.m.
“This study provides vital information about the progress that Iowa has made in insuring our children, and helps to identify areas for further improvement” says Betsy Richey, the survey's coordinator at the Iowa Department of Public Health.
The survey results from work by the Iowa Department of Public Health, the Public Policy Center, and Iowa Child Health Specialty Clinics. It is designed to measure the health and wellbeing of children and families in Iowa. The population-based survey was conducted via telephone and internet from fall 2010 through spring 2011. Families were asked over 165 questions regarding a randomly-selected child in their household and about their own insurance coverage, as well as topics related to their child’s health.