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Jeannette Manger


Objective: Despite health insurance coverage correlating to improved child health outcomes and reduced healthcare costs, it is estimated that 8.7% of children in America lack continuous insurance. Although coverage has expanded multiple times through the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) initiated in 1997, rates for child insurance vary drastically across regions of the country. In this study we investigated child insurance rates over time and by state, as well as explored the effects of having insurance and child health outcomes. To do this, we measured the association of uninsured children to primary care physician access and child mortality in the U.S.

Methods: We collected data from 2023 National County Health Rankings and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute with records from 2016 and 2022. This data included rates of uninsured children in Ohio and states in different regions including Mississippi and New York, along with differences in access to primary care physicians and the development of childhood obesity.

Results: The rates of uninsured children were found to decrease in Ohio between 2016 and 2022 from 6.119 to 5.510% (t = -4.337, p < .001). Rates between states were significantly different, measuring 6.50% of uninsured children in Mississippi compared to Ohio and New York, with 2.51% in 2022 (p<.001). Primary care access was seen to increase as uninsurance rates decrease in children (r=-.164), and a positive correlation was found between lack of insurance and child mortality rates (r=.164, p<00.1)