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Focus Groups Suggest New Strategies are Needed to Reach Uninsured Children in Low-Income Families

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Publication Date: September 2000

Publisher(s): UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

Author(s): Delight E. Satter; E. Richard Brown

Funder(s): David & Lucile Packard Foundation

Funder(s): David & Lucile Packard Foundation

Topic: Health (Health services for low income people)
Health (Health services for children)

Keywords: uninsured; children; low income

Type: Brief

Coverage: California


More than ever before, uninsured children in low-income families are eligible for low-cost health care coverage. But enrollment is lagging in California in both private-sector programs and public programs such as Healthy Families and Medi-Cal. The reason may be that low-income families whose earnings place them above the poverty line often struggle with the cost of unsubsidized health care coverage, to the point where many choose not to obtain coverage. That was the main conclusion drawn from focus groups designed to study the attitudes, perceptions, and opinions of low-income Californians about the value of health insurance for their children. On behalf of its Kaiser Permanente Cares for Kids initiative, Kaiser Permanente commissioned the study of Latino and non-Latino white parents with incomes between 200% and 275% of the federal income guidelines (family incomes ranging from $27,000 to $48,000 for a family of four in 1999). The goal of the study was to learn more about this population’s beliefs and values regarding children’s health care coverage, and to share those findings with policy makers, advocates and other interested parties.