Children are more likely to be uninsured if their parents are uninsured, according to a report issued Feb. 4 by the Government Accountability Office. The Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 asked GAO to assess how a parent's health insurance status is associated with their child's insurance status and use of services, among other questions.
Based on 2005-2007 data from the national Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, the study found 84% of children have the same health insurance status as their parents. Health coverage expansions required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will prompt states to change parental coverage in Medicaid- and CHIP-funded programs, and could result in newly eligible parents enrolling their children in Medicaid, the report notes.
Similar expansions of parental coverage through the ACA's state-based insurance exchanges also could increase the number of insured children, GAO said.