Iowa Report: Kids Have More Access to Health Care

A new statewide survey shows that more Iowa children have health insurance than they did in 2000.

The 2005 Iowa Child and Family Household Health Survey, which was released this week, was an attempt by the state to evaluate health status, access to health care and social environment of children in Iowa families. Its results were compared to an initial survey that was released in 2002.

The report was a collaborative effort by the University of Iowa Public Policy Center, the Iowa Department of Public Health, the University of Northern Iowa and the Iowa Child Health Specialty Clinics. It was based on interviews with 3,600 families across the state at the end of 2005 and beginning of 2006, officials said.

The report said that 3 percent of children were uninsured in 2005, down from 6 percent in 2000. That compares to a national rate of uninsured children of 9 percent. The level of uninsured parents in Iowa, at 11 percent, did not change.

Pete Damiano, director of the University of Iowa Public Policy Center, said the drop in uninsured kids in Iowa coincides with a national decline from the mid-1990s to 2005.

The survey, he said, shows that public programs, such as Medicaid and hawk-i, are reaching out to children in the state and around the country.

“The bottom line is, those programs have been working to insure children in Iowa,” he said.

The survey said the number of children who had public health insurance, Medicaid or hawk-i , grew from 11 percent in 2000 to 20 percent in 2005.

While it found some disparity in income levels when it came to access to health care, it said only 1.6 percent cent of children who needed medical care did not get it, compared to 3 percent in 2000.