August 4, 2005
A study by two research groups finds more than one-fifth of uninsured children in New York went without medical care for an entire year, while in Florida the percentage was even higher one out of four. Conversely, 92 percent of the insured New York Children, and 88 percent of Floridas insured children received care during the same period, according to the research.

Uninsured children in New York were 12 times more likely not to receive needed medical care than New York children with insurance, while in Florida, they were 20 time more likely to go without medical care. The research was prepared by analysts at the State Health Access Data Assistance Center, located at the University of Minnesota, and the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C.

The research also showed that in New York state, as well as nationally, more than seven in ten uninsured children are eligible for low-cost or free health care coverage through Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), but are not enrolled. There are more than 335,000 uninsured children in New York who are likely eligible for Child Health Plus, the state's low-cost or free health care coverage plan for children.

Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-NY) and the Child Health Now! Coalition, with the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Covering Kids & Families Initiative, have kicked off a series of local events that will take place in New York City and across the state to enroll eligible uninsured children in Child Health Plus.

New York City is one of six cities in the United States selected by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for an enhanced outreach campaign targeting families with uninsured children.

Similar efforts are being carried out in Florida.

"It is disturbing to know that children are not receiving the health care they need. They're even missing out on annual checkups that will prevent them from developing more serious medical conditions down the road," said Jodi Ray, Project Director for Florida Covering Kids & Families. "We owe it to the parents of these children to let them know that coverage is available for many uninsured children."