Patterns of Child-Parent Insurance Coverage

Brief

Patterns of Child-Parent Insurance Coverage

Implications for Coverage Expansions

Navigating health insurance and health care delivery systems to obtain adequate access to health care can be challenging, and parents must act as advocates for their children in this process. Parents who are covered by the same insurance as their children are likely to be the most effective advocates because they are familiar with the specific systems. The burden on parents may be magnified if the child and the parents have different insurance plans or different types of coverage. Parents who do not have their own insurance are likely to be the least effective in working with the insurance system that covers their child. Changes in public program eligibility over the past 15 years have enhanced access to public insurance coverage, but they have created a situation in many low-income families where only some members are eligible for specific programs.

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