Number of Uninsured Residents Increasing, Report Finds
During the past 20 years, the percentage of uninsured California residents has increased, while the proportion of residents who receive employer-sponsored health insurance has declined, according to a report released by the California HealthCare Foundation, CQ HealthBeat reports. A similar trend has occurred nationwide.
The report, titled "Snapshot: California's Uninsured," found that California has the largest number of uninsured individuals -- 6.6 million -- in the country. According to the report, the percentage of uninsured CaliforniansÂ younger thanÂ age 65 increased from 17.6% in 1987 to 20.2% in 2007.
In addition, the state has a lower percentage of residents with employer-sponsored health insurance than the rest of the nation. According to the report, 64.6% of California residents received insurance from their employers in 1987, compared with 56.7% in 2007.
While the number of Medicaid beneficiaries and those purchasing private insurance rose during the last seven years, the increase was not large enough to offset the growth in California's uninsured population, according to the report.
Paul Fronstin -- primary researcher for the report and a senior research associate at the Employee Benefit Research Institute -- attributed the findings to rising health care costs.
Gerry Shea, assistant to the president at AFL-CIO, said he expects the number of uninsured to increase because of the economy. He predicted that employers will be forced to shift more health care costs to workers and that state budget deficits will affect public programs (Kim, CQ HealthBeat, 12/22).
CHCF publishes California Healthline.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.