When it comes to the nutritional care of children, food security is an important aspect, frequently defined by issues of accessibility, affordability and availability.
Food security is not merely the quantity of food, as quality plays a major role in determining the outcome on human health. With respect to children, malnutrition is a significant point of discussion.
As per statistics, 13 million children in the U.S. are underfed. This leads to health issues among kids ranging from muscular dystrophy to bone deformities.
While the health sector is doing its job to address the issue, the U.S. government is also backing up efforts. This can be seen with respect to health coverage being provided for the purpose of fulfilling nutritional demands.
Coverage and its need
The Affordable Care Act has been the point of discussion for numerous reasons. One of its most important implications is bringing everyone within the insurance coverage net. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 7% of children less than 18 years are without health insurance. This translates to relatively poor access to health care and bringing food security into discussion.
The government based net of health care coverage is managed through the Medicare system. It is centralized and has evolved in recent times to bring in nearly all facets of healthcare access.
In the context of nutrition, Medicare Part B coverage
is an important provision, as it relates specifically to nutrition therapy services. Parents with children who suffer from juvenile diabetes, kidney issues, malnutrition and related diseases would find this kind of coverage to be accommodating and cost effective.
The cost effective nature of the plan is based on the fact that the monthly fee in some budget insurance options is deducted from retirement benefits and social security benefits. Furthermore, the fee is not fixed and depends on the income, so parents with low resources can save more money.
An important example that can be seen as a precedent for cost-accommodating nutritional coverage for kids is that of California. California’s example is relevant because the State accounts for 13% of the total uninsured children within the U.S.
The state government has initiated a California Coverage and Health Initiatives (CCHI) program to provide children with quality care. It brings a low earning bracket into the coverage net, which is commendable. The effort has resulted in more children getting access to the state health care model.
Most importantly, such initiatives cater to the nutritional needs of the children. The idea is that the R&D being conducted in the health sector is catering to the rising needs of the population, examples including probiotics and nutraceuticals, which are specifically designed to address the dietary needs of the masses.
The general notion is that such ‘supplemented food’ is expensive. But with the health insurance and coverage options that had been provided above, there is a realistic solution available.
In the case of kids suffering from diabetes or kidney diseases, a nutritional diet equals recovery. The state has mechanisms in place, and parents can employ them to take better medical care of their children.
Provisos within the Medicare model are continually updated. The examples provided above show how different states provide incentives for meeting dietary needs without comprising affordability. It is imperative to stay up to date with such initiatives to ensure good health for our children.