Why Parents Having Health Insurance is Good for American Families

Posted April 3, 2018, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Parent meets with doctor. Parental health insurance helps support family stability.

In the Unit­ed States, the pro­por­tion of par­ents with­out health insur­ance has dropped 39% in just six years. Today, only 11% of par­ents lack health coverage.

At the state lev­el, the rate of unin­sured par­ents fell with­out excep­tion. West Vir­ginia report­ed the great­est change — a drop of 14% — leav­ing just 5% of par­ents unin­sured in 2016. Maine, Mass­a­chu­setts and Wis­con­sin report­ed the small­est drop — a dip of 1%.

Despite these improve­ments, 6.4 mil­lion par­ents are still with­out health insur­ance. One in five of these par­ents live in Texas, which has the high­est rate of unin­sured par­ents nation­wide (23%). At the oth­er end of the spec­trum sits Mass­a­chu­setts, where just 2% of par­ents lack health insurance.

Unfore­seen med­ical expens­es and acci­dents can threat­en a fam­i­ly’s eco­nom­ic sta­bil­i­ty, and this risk is even greater when a fam­i­ly mem­ber is unin­sured. Par­ents who lack cov­er­age may for­go need­ed med­ical atten­tion, which can hin­der their abil­i­ty to take care of them­selves and their loved ones. On the oth­er hand, hav­ing health insur­ance sup­ports par­ents’ well-being and increas­es the like­li­hood that their chil­dren are also insured.

Access more health data on the KIDS COUNT Data Center:

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