Between 2001 and 2014, the number of California teens and preteens who had gone more than a year without a health exam decreased by nearly half.
In 2001, 21.7 percent of children in the state ages 12-17 had gone more than a year without a checkup, according to statistics from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and California Health Interview Survey posted on Kidsdata. By the 2013-14 survey, that figure had dropped to 11 percent.
It is likely that the number has decreased even further since, as more children have gained health insurance under the federal Affordable Care Act. About 97 percent of California children now have health coverage.
Children with health insurance are more likely to receive needed medical care, are less likely to be hospitalized, and tend to perform better in school than their uninsured peers, according to Kidsdata.
In 2013-14, the last year data is available on Kidsdata, 63.5 percent of California children ages 12-17 had had a health checkup in the last six months. For 24 percent of the children, a routine exam had taken place in the last six to 12 months. And 1.5 percent had never had a checkup.