Number of State Residents Without Health Insurance Remains About the Same Between 2002, 2003, Report Finds
The number of California residents without health insurance remained about the same between 2002 and 2003, but the number of residents with employer-sponsored health coverage decreased as enrollment in public health insurance programs increased, according to a California HealthCare Foundation report released Thursday, the Stockton Record reports. The report, titled "Snapshot: California's Uninsured, 2004," is based on analysis of research conducted for the Current Population Survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.
According to the report, among state residents with health insurance in 2003:
- 57.1% had employer-sponsored coverage;
- 15.1% were enrolled in Medi-Cal;
- 7.9% had individual coverage;
- 2% received coverage through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program; and
- 1.9% were enrolled in Medicare.
The report also found that health insurance premiums and expenditures for public health coverage programs have increase "at a far faster rate than general inflation" since 1998, the Record reports. Medi-Cal enrollment likely will reach 6.7 million this year and Healthy Families enrollment likely will reach 774,000 by next summer, according to state estimates.
CHCF Senior Program Officer Marian Mulkey said, "The problem certainly isn't getting better and in fact is continuing to grow. We see this slow erosion of employment-based coverage." According to Jill Yegian, director of the CHCF Health Insurance Program, "The long-term growth of the uninsured population in California, and nationally, is a complex problem driven by numerous economic and demographic forces. Fluctuation in employment, family income and citizenship status each play a significant role, as do premium costs" (Goldeen, Stockton Record, 10/27).
The report is available online. Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the report. 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.