Study: 8.4M California Residents Lacked Health Insurance in ’09
Last year, the number of Californians who became unemployed and lost their health insurance increased, bringing the total number of uninsured state residents to 8.4 million, according to a study released on Monday by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, the Los Angeles Times' "L.A. Now" reports.
The number of uninsured residents is up from 6.4 million three years ago (Hennessy-Fiske, "L.A. Now," Los Angeles Times, 8/23).
According to the report, 24.3% of Californians younger than age 65 lacked insurance at some point in 2009, compared with 19.4% in 2007 (Calvan, Sacramento Bee, 8/24).
The report was produced using:
- Figures from last year's household income and unemployment data;
- The 2007 California Health Interview Survey; and
- Enrollment information from Medi-Cal and Healthy Families at the county level between 2007 and 2009 ("L.A. Now," Los Angeles Times, 8/23).
More than 30% of residents lacked health insurance in:
- Imperial County;
- Madera County;
- Merced County; and
- Shasta County (Lin, "California Watch," 8/24).
In addition, other areas with high uninsured rates included counties in Southern California, the Northern Sierras and the San Joaquin Valley ("L.A. Now," Los Angeles Times, 8/23).
Los Angeles County had the highest uninsured population, at 2.7 million, which is 28.9% of its residents. About 43% of county residents received health coverage through their employer, compared with the about half of all Californians who had job-based health insurance ("California Watch," 8/24).
Meanwhile, 85,000 individuals in the Sacramento area lost their health insurance between 2007 and 2009.
In Sacramento County, the percentage of non-elderly individuals without insurance climbed from 13.1% in 2007 to 17.6% last year.
Elements of the federal health reform designed to increase access to health coverage will not be fully in place until 2014, the Sacramento Bee reports (Calvan, Sacramento Bee, 8/24).
On Monday, KPCC's "KPCC News" reported on the findings of the study ("KPCC News," KPCC, 8/23).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.