New twist on health insurance gap

October 21, 2008 2:28:48 PM PDT
As political candidates debate ways of tackling the rising number of those without health insurance, a new gap emerges - and 3 million kids are in it.

More than 3 million children are caught in a healthcare gap - they don't have health insurance, even though at least one parent does.

According to a new study, the families often make too much to qualify for state insurance programs, but too little to afford to add them to policies through their jobs.

Fran Denham worked all her life to pay her bills. for health insurance, she is covered through her husband's policy. But when it came to her grandson, whom she raised, it was too expensive to add him onto the policy as well.

Fran says, "It is very stressful, to have a kid that you're responsible forand you can' t take care of him the way you need to."

Dr. Jennifer DeVoe of the Oregon ZHeaklth and Sciences University studied data on 40,000 uninsured children.

"We found about three percent of children in the United States who are uninsured with an insured parent. And that translates to over three million children," says DeVoe.

She says there were some key factors. "The largest predictor of children being uninsured, with an insured parent, was being in the middle income earning somewhere between about 25,000 and 75,000 dollars a year, for a family of four."

Minority children, and those in single-parent households are the most likely to *not be covered.

DeVoe says ,"It's heartbreaking to know that we have a country that has figured out how to insure everyone over 65, and we can't figure out how to insure everyone under eighteen, and then everyone in between."


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