One in four Californians lack health insurance
March 15, 2010
Nearly one in four Californians under age 65 had no health insurance in 2009, according to a new report by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. [Los Angeles Times]
California’s uninsured population jumped to 8.2 million last year, up from 6.4 million in 2007, marking the highest number of the last decade. The increase, experts say, stems from the loss of employer-sponsored health insurance.
The UCLA study found that among those over 18, one in three residents had no insurance for all or part of 2009. The number of uninsured children also grew to 13.4 percent.
California has one of the highest uninsured rates in the country, along with Texas, and other states with high unemployment.
The number of uninsured is keeping pace with the state’s growing unemployment rate, which was 12.3 percent last December, up from 5.7 percent two years ago.
This so-called insurance gap results in Californians putting off needed medical care and crowding into hospital emergency rooms, Hospitals and insurance companies typically pass those costs off on customers with insurance.