Health insurance hits major milestone with US children

Children’s Health Insurance Program

Children's Health InsuranceRecord number of children covered by health insurance

A record number of children in the U.S. received health insurance coverage in 2011, according to research from the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire. Researchers note that these children did not receive their health insurance coverage from private companies. Rather, they received their coverage from public services. The research suggests that this is due to the new government policies that have been introduced into the health care sector that has made coverage more available to a wider range of people.

Government policies make insurance coverage more available

The Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, but the federal and state governments had been working to renovate the country’s health insurance sector for decade. Government efforts concerning health care began heating up in 2008, during the height of the U.S. financial disaster that left millions of people jobless. The research from the Carsey Institute shows that coverage from private insurance companies began to take a steep decline during the financial crisis, increasing people’s reliance on government programs that offered them affordable health insurance coverage.

Public programs ensure children are protected

Researchers note that the trend may be indicative of the country’s economic recovery. Since 2008, unemployment has been steadily dropping, but more people are taking jobs with companies that do not offer health insurance benefits due to financial concerns. These people tend to make use of public insurance programs. The coverage provided by these programs typically extends to a person’s dependents  such as children. As of 2011, approximately 92.5% of children in New Hampshire alone were covered by public health insurance programs.

Expanding Medicaid programs provide better options for consumers

Federal regulations introduced through the Affordable Care Act have led to the expansion of the Medicaid programs that states host. All states have the option to decline expanding these programs, but many states have opted to ensure that their Medicaid systems become more accommodating to a larger number of consumers. This has been good news for children throughout the country who would not have health insurance coverage if such expansions were not being made to public programs.

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