Affordable Health Care Keeps Children and Families Healthy

Access to affordable health care is important for young children and their parents’ overall health. When health care services are affordable, children are more able to access needed care, including preventive services such as well child visits and immunizations. Optimal child health is best achieved when parents are also in good health. But parents’ health suffers when they must delay needed care or medication.

In this policy brief, we explore the relationship between parents’ and young children’s health when parents had to:

  • Forego needed medical care or prescriptions for themselves or other members of the household due to cost
  • Forego needed health care or prescriptions for young children due to cost
  • Sacrifice paying for basic household expenses, such as rent or mortgage payments, food, utilities or transportation, in order to pay for medical care or prescriptions (‘health cost sacrifices’)

Key findings from the brief:

  • Affordability of health care for adults affects children’s health
  • High cost of health care affects children’s health, even when children are insured
  • Health cost sacrifices affect children’s health