According to a new statewide report, released September 12 by the Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children (PPC), More than 150,000 Pennsylvania children have no health insurance, and even those who are insured often lack the preventive care needed to stay healthy.
PPC’s newest annual report, “The State of Children’s Health Care in Pennsylvania,” uses multiple measures to gauge whether children have access to the quality care they need to grow up healthy. The report is the first of its kind in the commonwealth.
Ensuring the health of Pennsylvania’s children is critical to the commonwealth’s social and economic well-being. Healthy children have better school attendance and academic performance, meaning working parents are less likely to need unexpected time off and employers benefit from a more productive, cost-effective workforce.
The report uses various health indicators to provide a data-driven snapshot of children’s health care in Pennsylvania including, its successes, limitations and challenges. The inaugural report compiles data from 2010, the year the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law, to provide a baseline for future reports, which will offer year-to-year comparisons to help identify areas where the commonwealth has made gains or needs to improve.
The report has identified some troubling gaps in children’s health care, even among the 1.3 million commonwealth children who are insured through Medicaid or Pennsylvania’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP):
- Fewer than 60 percent of children insured through these publicly funded programs receive the appropriate number of wellness visits between birth and 15 months – visits that are crucial to preventive health care.
- Thousands of children lack access to primary care providers and specialists, which can lead to delayed diagnoses of physical or behavioral health issues.
- About 1 in 4 children fail to receive appropriate immunizations against preventable illnesses such as polio, tetanus or hepatitis.
- Nearly half do not receive annual dental checkups.
To read the report in its entirety, please click HERE.
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