EBRI Notes

"Characteristics of Uninsured Children"

Jan 1, 1997 12  pages


Characteristics of Uninsured Children—Policymakers and interest groups are becoming increasingly concerned about the health insurance status of children. Between 1987 and 1995, the percentage of children under age 18 with employment-based health insurance declined from 66.7 percent to 58.6 percent. During the same period, the percentage of children covered by Medicaid increased from 15.5 percent to 23.2 percent. The percentage of uninsured children increased from 13.1 percent in 1987 to 13.8 percent in 1995, resulting in 9.8 million uninsured children in 1995. However, with the exception of a relatively large increase in the percentage of uninsured children between 1992 and 1994, the percentage of uninsured children remained fairly constant between 1987 and 1992.

The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, it is important that the characteristics of uninsured children be fully understood prior to addressing solutions for increasing coverage among children. Second, this paper will identify some of the options being discussed for increasing coverage.