Insurance Coverage and Well-Child Visits Improved for Youth Under the Affordable Care Act, but Latino Youth Still Lag Behind

Alexander N. Ortega, Ryan M. McKenna, Jie Chen, Héctor E. Alcalá, Brent A. Langellier, Dylan H. Roby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Objective To examine whether there have been changes in insurance coverage and health care utilization for youth before and after the national implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and to assess whether racial and ethnic inequities have improved. Methods Data are from 64,565 youth (ages 0–17 years) participants in the 2011 to 2015 National Health Interview Survey. We conducted multivariate logistic regression analyses to determine how the period after national implementation of the ACA (years 2011–2013 vs years 2014–2015) was associated with health insurance coverage and utilization of health care services (well-child visits, having visited an emergency department, and having visited a physician, all in the past 12 months), and whether changes over the pre- and post-ACA periods varied according to race and Latino ethnicity. Results The post-ACA period was associated with improvements in insurance coverage and well-child visits for all youth. Latino youth had the largest absolute gain in insurance coverage; however, they continued to have the highest proportion of uninsurance post national ACA implementation. With regard to health care equity, non-Latino black youth were less likely to be uninsured and Latino youth had no significant improvements in insurance coverage relative to non-Latino white youth after national ACA implementation. Inequities in health care utilization for non-Latino black and Latino youth relative to non-Latino white youth did not improve. Conclusions Insurance coverage and well-child visits have significantly improved for all youth since passage of the ACA, but inequities persist, especially for Latino youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-42
Number of pages8
JournalAcademic Pediatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • Affordable Care Act
  • African Americans
  • Hispanic Americans
  • children
  • health care access
  • health care utilization
  • health disparities
  • insurance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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