Delayed and Forgone Health Care for Children during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Fact Sheet

Delayed and Forgone Health Care for Children during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Abstract

Since the pandemic began, health care providers and consumers have sought to minimize COVID-19 transmission by limiting in-person visits. Consequently, many children are missing out on or having their health care delayed. Drawing on the Urban Institute’s September 2020 Coronavirus Tracking Survey, a nationally representative survey of adults ages 18 to 64, we examine delayed and forgone health care for children under 19 during the pandemic because of parents’ concerns about exposure to the coronavirus or limits on providers’ services due to the pandemic. We find that 28.8 percent of parents delayed or did not get one or more types of care for their children for these reasons. Parents with lower incomes were more likely than those with higher incomes to report their children delayed or missed out on multiple types of care. Among parents whose children delayed or did not get care, more than one in four reported negative effects on their children’s health, schooling, and other daily activities.

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