Rising Insurance Costs Make Consumers Uneasy
The cost of health insurance has risen 58% for a family plan and 63% for an individual plan since 2001, the Los Angeles Times reports. At the same time, "more companies are dropping health benefits altogether," and fewer people are receiving coverage through their employers, according to the Times.
As part of a provision in the 2003 Medicare law, the Citizens' Health Care Working Group is organizing meetings in 36 cities across the country to collect opinions on health insurance for a report that will presented to Congress.
George Grob, executive director of CHCWG, said, "I think many people are starting to feel the slipping-through-the-cracks phenomenon, that it could happen to them." He added, "In general, people worry about the cost of care, about access to care for themselves and for everyone else. A common theme is that it's time to do something about it."
The Times article, which is part of a special report on health insurance in the U.S., also includes profiles of several individuals of varying ages and levels of health. The profiles examine each individual's experience with health insurance (Brink , Los Angeles Times, 4/3).
In the second part of the special report, the Times examines options for obtaining health insurance in California.
"Children have more options than adults" in the state, the Times reports. About two-thirds of California children could qualify for coverage through Medicaid or other state programs for low-income families if they applied, according the Center for Health Policy Research at the University of California-Los Angeles.
However, "For many adults, finding coverage is harder, and often expensive, but not always hopeless," the Times reports. Adults who currently have coverage can "take steps to protect themselves down the road," such as using a health savings account to "build [a] defense against future loss of coverage," according to the Times (Brink , Los Angeles Times, 4/3).