Health Insurance Coverage of Children in Iowa: An Overview of the 2010 Iowa Child and Family Household Health Survey

Damiano, P.C.; Park, K.; Willard, J.C.


Health insurance coverage has been shown to greatly affect financial access to health care services, and potentially, quality of health care. Data presented in this report is from the 2010 Iowa Child and Family Household Health Survey (IHHS), and explores the level of health insurance coverage among children in the state of Iowa, the factors related to their type of coverage, and related health outcomes. The IHHS is a collaborative effort of the Iowa Department of Public Health, the University of Iowa Public Policy Center, and the Iowa Child Health Specialty Clinics, and is designed to measure health and wellbeing of children and families in the state.

The data from the 2010 survey, the third IHHS since 2000, was collected using population-based telephone and Internet surveys with parents from fall 2010 through spring 2011. Iowa families were asked over 165 questions regarding a randomly selected child in the household and about their own insurance coverage as well as topics related to their child’s health such as:

•  Functional health status;

•  Access to and/or need for care;

•  Medical home site;

•  Prescription medications;

•  Behavioral and emotional health and health care;

•  Early childhood issues;

•  Oral health;

•  Child care and school issues;

•  Social determinants of health;

•  Nutrition and physical activity;

•  Parent health status and family health;

•  Substance use and gambling; and

•  Demographic characteristics of the child and family.

There are some implications from these results for the implementation of the insurance expansion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and individual mandate requirements on January 1, 2014. With changes happening in the healthcare system due to the ACA, there may be increased incentive for families to find insurance coverage for their children. The individual mandate requires that everyone have insurance coverage through a health care plan. The ACA mandates expanded insurance coverage to provide families with increased opportunities to purchase affordable health insurance or to enroll in Medicaid.