Health Care Costs Contribute To Higher Cost of Living in California
In order to have a "modest" standard of living and cover the basics of everyday costs, including health care, California residents need to earn far more than the state's minimum wage or federal poverty level, according to the California Budget Project, the Los Angeles Times reports.
To cover basic costs, a family of two working parents and two children needs an annual income of $71,377, or $17.16 per hour per working adult, compared with the $6.75 minimum wage and $9.21 per hour needed to earn an income equal to the federal poverty level.
Some California families are going without health insurance to deal with income constraints. CBP said that income thresholds to qualify for government programs such as state-sponsored health insurance are too low given the cost of living in California.
Since 2003, health care costs rose 29% in the state (Sing, Los Angeles Times, 9/28).
CBP executive director Jean Ross said that health care costs increasingly account for a larger proportion of salaries, adding that workers earning less also are less likely to have employer-sponsored health insurance (Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle, 9/28).