The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) lays out the foundational standards recommended to ensure that all children have access to affordable, equitable, high-quality health care within its policy statement, "Principles of Child Health Care Financing." It emphasizes that the current patchwork of healthcare plans has led to longstanding health disparities that must be addressed.
The U.S. patchwork of health insurance plans for children
The statement, which was last updated in 2017, describes today's complex and evolving health care system serving children. The patchwork of plans, which has led to longstanding health disparities, consists of employer-sponsored coverage through parents, federal and state Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace plans, and other nongroup plans.
The statement, written by the Committee on Health Care Financing, is published in the September 2023
Pediatrics. Policy statements created by AAP are written by medical experts, reflect the latest evidence in the field, and go through several rounds of peer review before being approved by the AAP Board of Directors and published in
AAP's recommendations on health care financing for children:
- Coverage with quality, affordable health insurance should be universal.
- Comprehensive pediatric services should be covered.
- Cost-sharing should be affordable and should not negatively affect care.
- Payment should be adequate to strengthen family- and patient-centered medical homes.
- Equity should be promoted and longstanding health and health care disparities in child health financing policy addressed.
- Child health financing policy must be designed to reflect the unique characteristics and needs of children.
"When children have access to appropriate, timely health care, they are more likely to be healthy as adults," said Alison A. Galbraith, MD, MPH, FAAP, lead author of the policy statement. "In the long run, that benefits individuals, families and society as a whole."