ADHD: Insurance and Mental Health Service Use

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We describe mental health service use by insurance among children aged 4 to 17 with diagnosed attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Using parent reports from 2010-2013 National Health Interview Survey, we estimate the percentage that received services for emotional and behavioral difficulties (EBD): medication, other nonmedication services, and none (neither medication nor other nonmedication services). Among children with diagnosed ADHD, 56.0% had used medication for EBD, 39.8% had contact with a mental health professional, 32.2% had contact with a general doctor about the child’s EBD, and 20.4% received special education services for EBD. Medication use was more often reported for privately or publicly insured children than uninsured children (P < .001), and uninsured children more often received no services (P < .001). Publicly insured children were more likely than privately insured children to receive other nonmedication services (P < .001). Less than a third (28.9%) of all children received no services as compared to almost half (48.8%) of uninsured children.

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