Fewer U.S. children lack access to healthcare

(Reuters Health) - - As a growing number of U.S. children have gained health insurance over the past decade, fewer kids are missing out on things like physicals and dental exams, a recent study suggests.

Steep declines in the number of uninsured have been well documented, largely as a result of growth in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. But the current study offers fresh evidence that kids are not only getting insured – they’re also becoming more likely to receive the care they need.

“In addition to having improved insurance coverage we showed that children’s utilization patterns improved, meaning that fewer children lacked well child visits, or had unmet health needs as their gains in coverage improved,” said study co-author Dr. Andrew Racine, a pediatrics researcher and chief medical officer for Montefiore Health System in New York City.

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