Report: Health Coverage Puts Strain on Finances for California Families
A California family of four with two working parents would need an annual income of $75,500 to cover its basic needs, including health care costs, according to a new California Budget Project report, the Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert" reports (Walters, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 6/24).
The report estimates the costs of supporting different-size families in each of California's 58 counties. For its calculations, the California Budget Project used federal and state data on various expenses, including child care, food, health care, housing, taxes and transportation.
Costs of Health Care in California
The report assumes that a two-parent family with two children would pay an average of $1,021 monthly to purchase health coverage on the individual insurance market (Abate, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/25). However, more than half of California workers younger than age 65 and their families have employer-sponsored health coverage, which costs an average of $283 monthly.
California Budget Project officials said they used the individual policyholder rates for their calculations because lower income workers are less likely to have employer-sponsored health care (Milbourn, "Handling Hard Times,"Â OrangeÂ County Register,Â 6/24).
If one parent had job-based coverage, a family of four could reduce their annual health coverage expenditures by about $10,000 annually, according to the report.
Jean Ross, executive director of the California Budget Project, said that the report underscores the importance of employer-sponsored health coverage (Herdt, Ventura County Star, 6/24).The report alsoÂ aims to draw attention to possible effects ofÂ proposed cuts to health care, welfare and other safety net services included in Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) latest budget plan ("Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 6/24). 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.