To examine indicators of health care access and utilization among children of working and nonworking single mothers in the United States, the authors used data on unmarried women participating in the 1997-2008 National Health Interview Survey who financially supported children under 18 years of age (n = 21,842). Stratified by maternal employment, the analyses assessed health care access and utilization for all children. Outcome variables included delayed care, unmet care, lack of prescription medication, no usual place of care, no well-child visit, and no doctor's visit. The analyses reveal that maternal employment status was not associated with health care access and utilization. The strongest predictors of low access/utilization included no health insurance and intermittent health insurance in the previous 12 months, relative to those with continuous private health insurance coverage (odds ratio ranges 3.2-13.5 and 1.3-10.3, respectively). Children with continuous public health insurance compared favorably with those having continuous private health insurance on three of six access/utilization indicators (odds ratio range 0.63-0.85). As these results show, health care access and utilization for the children of single mothers are not optimal. Passage of the U.S. Healthcare Reform Bill (HR 3590) will probably increase the number of children with health insurance and improve these indicators.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy