Kids Don't See Doctors When Parents Are Uninsured

Filed under: In The News, Weird But True, Research Reveals: Babies, Research Reveals: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Research Reveals: Big Kids, Research Reveals: Tweens, Research Reveals: Teens

doctor and child

Does your child see a doctor on a regular basis? Credit: jupiterimages

When parents don't have medical insurance, their children get less medical care -- even if the children themselves are covered.

Researchers at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland used information from a government survey of 43,000 American households and found that children are a third more likely to not have a regular doctor if they have health insurance but their parents aren't covered.

The team, led by Dr. Jennifer E. DeVoe, also concluded that such children are 20 percent more likely to miss regular checkups and other routine doctor visits designed to keep them healthy, according to a report by Reuters.

Researchers considered other factors, including the parents' income and education. Even taking those factors into account, DeVoe and her group still saw a direct connection to the parents' insurance status.

"The vulnerability of children in this study...highlights the need to look beyond child-only insurance models in the longer term," they wrote collectively in the current issue of Annals of Family Medicine, according to Reuters.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.