6.8M California Residents Lack Health Coverage, Report Finds
The number of Californians who lack health insurance, particularly employer-based coverage, has continued to climb during the ongoing recession, according to the California HealthCare Foundation's annual California Health Care Almanac, the Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert" reports. CHCF publishes California Healthline.
The almanac notes that:
- About 6.8 million Californians are uninsured, or more than 20% of the state's residents;
- Over the past 20 years, the percentage of residents younger than age 65 with employer-basedÂ coverage has decreased from 69% to 52%;
- Increases in Medi-Cal enrollment partially have offset the drop in coverage. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program (Walters, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 12/16).
According to CHCF, the number of middle-income residents without health insurance has increased over recent years. The foundation notes that:
- In 2009, about one-third of the state's uninsured residents had incomes of more than $50,000 annually; and
- Over the past 10 years, the number of uninsured residents among families with annual incomes between $50,000 and $75,000 nearly doubled (Calvan, Sacramento Bee, 12/17).
The almanac also notes that:
- Employees in businesses of all sizes, including the self-employed, are more likely to be uninsured in California than in the U.S. overall;
- About 60% of California's uninsured population is Latino; and
- Up to 60% of uninsured children qualify for Medi-Cal or Healthy Families, California's Children's Health Insurance Program.
According to CHCF, the number of uninsured Californians is likely to continue increasing over the coming years because of the state's challenging economic conditions and its high unemployment rate (CHCF release, 12/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.