1 In 4 Kids Live In A Family Struggling With Health Care Bills

Source: Allison Linn / Today /  MSNBC

New data from the National Center for Health Statistics finds that kids who are 17 and under are the most likely of any age group they studied to be living in a family that has recently had trouble affording their medical bills.

The data, released Wednesday by the government researchers, found that about 24 percent of children ages 17 and under are living in a family that has had trouble paying their medical bills in the past year.

By contrast, just about 10 percent of people who are 65 to 74 years old were living in a family that had had problems paying medical bills in the past year.

Experts say we shouldn’t take the data to mean that kids aren’t getting the health care they need. In fact, most kids have some sort of health insurance.

An analysis of insurance coverage for children, released by the Carsey Institute last fall, found that around 92 percent of children under age 18 were covered by health insurance as of 2010.

The researchers did find that private health care coverage for kids had fallen slightly from a year earlier, but that was more than offset by an uptick in the percentage of kids who were covered under public plans such as the state children’s health insurance program.

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