Health care study shows more children uninsured - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Health care study shows more children uninsured

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BONHAM, TX -- According to a recent report, the percentage of children without health insurance in Grayson, Cooke, Denton, Collin and Fannin counties is more than double the national average.

Diane Glenn says the three grandchildren she takes care of are included in that statistic, leaving her to pay out-of-pocket each time one of them gets sick.

"It's a big financial impact. We've had to continue to work to cover medical costs for the children," she said.

That's why she says she came to a public meeting inside a Bonham church discussing the results of the report issued by the Childrens Medical Center Dallas.

The report also found fewer children are enrolled in Medicaid, with the exception of Collin County. But researchers say finding a doctor who accepts Medicaid is becoming increasingly difficult because the amount they're reimbursed by Medicaid has decreased over the past few years.

In Fannin County, for example, the report found 16.3% of children don't have insurance. That's the lowest of the five counties studied, but they also say there is not a single pediatrician there, forcing  parents to drive to neighboring counties to see a doctor when their children get sick.

Doctor Timothy Bray with the University of Texas at Dallas says the purpose of holding a public meeting is to figure out how to improve these statistics, and hopes the report will raise awareness that more needs to be done to keep children here healthy.

"That's a good number of kids who don't have a place to go necessarily when they have a cold. Don't have a place to go when they might be diagnosed with asthma so their parents deal with deal day-to-day with breathing difficulties and they can't get diagnosed," he said. "They can't get treated because they don't have access to care that's promoted by insurance."