Addressing Coverage Challenges for Children Under the Affordable Care Act

As many as 20 million children live in complex family arrangements that create challenges in accessing insurance coverage, according to estimates provided in a new issue brief, prepared by researchers at the Urban Institute.

While the ACA creates new opportunities for families to obtain health insurance, special attention will be required during the regulatory process to ensure that those children with complex household circumstances don’t fall through the cracks.

The authors say the complex family scenarios include:

  • variation within families regarding who is eligible for employer-sponsored insurance, public programs or health insurance exchange subsidies;
  • different immigration status among family members; and
  • children living apart from at least one parent (such as with a single parent, grandparents or other relatives).

The brief explains the unique issues families in each scenario face, as well as potential steps to be taken during ACA’s implementation to help address them.