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An ‘Unhealthy’ Trend for Iowa Kids and Families

November 9, 2007

Des Moines, IA – "Minding the gap" is getting tougher for Iowa's working families. The Iowa Policy Project has reviewed the numbers for the last five years and found that more Iowa children who used to be covered by a parent's insurance policy, no longer are. Study author Colin Gordon says the findings indicate many parents are having to make tough choices about how to stretch their limited incomes.

"Since 2000, job-based insurance in Iowa has shed just under 90,000 children. We've lost ten percent of the children covered under job-based insurance in just those five years. I think what is happening, which is relatively new, is that people who are being offered insurance at work can't afford to buy family coverage."

Gordon says with more workers finding it harder to pay for health insurance, more children are left to be covered by the state's "Hawkeye" program. Currently the program, which still has not been funded by Congress, provides insurance coverage for more than 31,000 Iowa children.

Dick Layman/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - IA