Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Health care costs force families to forgo paying for rent, food or other basic expenses

Date:
May 2, 2010
Source:
American Academy of Pediatrics
Summary:
When the high cost of health care forces families to forgo paying for basic household expenses, such as rent, utilities or food, children's health suffers.

When the high cost of health care forces families to forgo paying for basic household expenses, such as rent, utilities or food, children's health suffers, according to research presented May 2 at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Medical care and prescriptions can be costly, even for families with health insurance. However, it is unknown whether health care costs are related to child health.

To explore this question, researchers from Children's HealthWatch, based at Boston Medical Center and Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health, interviewed 6,447 low-income caregivers with children ages 0-36 months. Caregivers were asked whether they needed to "trade off" paying for household expenses to obtain medical care, whether they had health insurance and about their child's health history. Children were weighed and measured, and their developmental risk was assessed using the Parents' Evaluation of Developmental Status.

Results showed that 5 percent of caregivers reported making trade-offs to pay for medical care. They most commonly did not pay utility bills (32 percent), rent/mortgage (25 percent) or went without food (21 percent).

Young children in these families, compared to similar families who did not have to make trade-offs, were at increased risk of fair or poor health, hospitalization, developmental delays and shorter stature (an indication of undernutrition), said Stephanie A. Ettinger de Cuba, MPH, lead author of the study and a researcher with Children's HealthWatch.

"Family hardships and high out-of-pocket health care costs are written on the bodies of babies," Ettinger de Cuba said.

Results also indicated that families who did without basic necessities to pay for health care had higher levels of education, and were more likely to be married and breastfeed. Their children also were more likely to be uninsured than children whose families who did not have to make trade-offs.

"This suggests that families who had to make trade-offs are experiencing a paradoxical situation in which caregivers do not earn enough to pay for private insurance for their children, nor do they earn so little that their children can qualify for public insurance, leaving them uninsured and unable to afford both medical costs and basic needs," Ettinger De Cuba said.

Public policies that broaden children's as well as families' access to assistance with health care costs and basic needs may reduce the need for families to choose between essential expenses, thereby improving children's health and development, the researchers concluded.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Pediatrics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy of Pediatrics. "Health care costs force families to forgo paying for rent, food or other basic expenses." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100502080238.htm>.
American Academy of Pediatrics. (2010, May 2). Health care costs force families to forgo paying for rent, food or other basic expenses. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100502080238.htm
American Academy of Pediatrics. "Health care costs force families to forgo paying for rent, food or other basic expenses." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100502080238.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins