The world of healthcare is constantly changing. But what about the state of healthcare for children? Read on for predictions and concerns for the New Year.
A significant way of improving healthcare for children is through health insurance. In fact, children that have health insurance are more likely to be healthy and get medical care. In return, there would be improved outcomes in education, economic security, and the society in general.
In recent years, the United States expanded its health coverage to include a lot of children. To be precise, the U.S insured about 95 percent of its children in as at 2015. Yes, that figure is an all-time high.
Private insurances cover a more substantial number of these children, about 53.8 percent. However, there is the other 43 percent that is covered by government-sponsored programs. The design of these programs fit children from a low-income family. The largest of these programs are;
- Children Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
As of 2016, CHIP enrolled 8.9 million children. And Medicaid covered 68 million Americans according to October 2017 enrollment report.
Healthcare For Children Through The Children Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
The Children Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides insurance to nine million children in the United States. The program which has aided healthcare for children in the past years has contributed to services such as;
- Doctor visits
- Dental vision and care
- Routine Checkups
- Emergency services
- Laboratory and X-ray services etc.
The premiums paid differs with each State. But the maximum payment is five percent of a family's annual income. All that is about to end.
Healthcare for Children in 2018
The nine million children covered by CHIP will be left uninsured by 2018. Why? Back on September 30, Federal funding for the program expired. The problem is, lawmakers are yet to agree on how to continue funding the program.
In fact, this has caused some states to reduce CHIP enrollment. There are others that froze the program and are educating parents on what to do if they lose coverage.
Although some 20 states received an emergency funding of about 21 billion dollars to keep the program running, a long-term financing is required to prevent its end.
Here is how the trend is expected to progress.
- The first 4.9 million children from 16 states will lose coverage at the end of January
- It increases to 5.6 million from 24 States at the end of February
- By the end of March, it's 7.7 million children from 36 states (including D.C.)
- It's a total of 46 states by the end of summer
In the end, a program which covers 9 million children and provides prenatal care for close to 370,000 expectant mothers could end by the summer of 2018.
It's Implications for Healthcare for Children in 2018
The question to ask now is, "how does this affect healthcare for children? The answer to that question is outlined below. Here are some implications of ending CHIP.
You Have to Pay More for Your Children's Healthcare
Insurance Program (CHIP) ends, its immediate effect will be evident in the absence of the services it was designed to cover. That means;
- You must pay for routine checkup and dental visits that were free
- Laboratory and X-ray services will cost more money.
- Add the cost of inpatients and outpatient hospital care.
Consequently, parents would start to accumulate medical debts.
Your children's health care will cost you more money in 2018. However, there are long-term effects of ending your participation in the Children Health Insurance Program (CHIP). These effects are explained below.
Impact on Child's Health
The benefit of CHIP begins from the prenatal stage. There would be an increase in preventable hospitalizations of children in 2018. As the funding runs out in each state without refund, a decline in the oral health of children is a possibility.
The presence of an affordable insurance coverage leads to lower body mass index. In return, you get a lower rate of obesity as these children grow into adults.
The mortality risk among children would increase generally.
It Affects Your Child's Education
A review of the expansion of health insurance was performed a while back. The analysis, which focused on low-income children, revealed something interesting.
The researchers noted an increase in the rate of high school and college completion. This increase is due to the good health care they received during their teen years.
That's not all; another study discovered that children born in states with CHIP had better reading scores. The improved health status at birth was linked with those improved academic outcomes. Researchers have connected a good health insurance coverage continuously with academic performance.
You know what this means, don't you?
States that lose CHIP funding in 2018 will experience a general decrease in academic performance. As access to a good health coverage reduces, health care for children becomes more expensive. It will result in a decrease in the health condition of children.
All these lead to one thing, a decrease in academic performance across the States involved.
It Affects the Economy Too
Inability to access a good insurance coverage will lead to less healthy children. As a result, children will have less educational opportunities and less financial and economic security as adults.
According to a study, having a good health insurance coverage has long-term economic effects. Children grow up to pay more taxes. Society stands to lose adults who would otherwise contribute to the nation's growth by paying taxes, volunteering, and participating in other Civic engagements.
Wrapping Things Up
An insurance coverage that is depended on by nine million American children is currently in a political limbo. Lawmakers are not agreeing on how to fund CHIP. As this trend continues, the future of healthcare for children becomes unclear.
Healthcare challenges extend beyond the children's program. Parents are expected to have a pile of medical debts in 2018. Without including long-term economic and academic impact, the future is still a little scary.
You want to protect your child from this impending danger looming over 2018. So, get the most affordable health insurance for your child.
Here's how. Talk to Insurdinary; the Canadian based company specializes in helping people get the lowest insurance rates possible. Their platform gives you the chance to compare different insurance brokers and settle for the most affordable providers.
Contact them here.