Family Complexity, Children’s Health Insurance Coverage, and Access to Quality Health Care

Christine Percheski, Harvard University
Sharon Bzostek, Princeton University

Previous research has found that insurance coverage often varies within families; many families are partially insured (some members are insured while others are uninsured) and among fully-insured families, family members often have coverage from different sources (employer-based insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, S-CHIP, privately purchased, etc.) (e.g. Vistnes and Schone 2008). In this paper, we investigate whether greater family structure complexity is associated with higher levels of health insurance discordance among family members and whether this, in turn, is associated with less access for children to high-quality health care. To do this, we use National Health Interview Survey data from 2006-2008 to examine several indicators of children’s access to and use of health care, including children’s use of preventative care, whether they have a usual source of care, and whether they went without needed care in the previous year (N=61,126).

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Presented in Poster Session 3