Nearly 6.4 million Californians lack health insurance, report shows

Dec 15, 2008

Nearly one-fifth of all Californians under age 65 were without health insurance for all or some of 2007, according to a policy brief released today by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

Drawing on comprehensive new data from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), the policy brief's authors found that 6.4 million Californians lacked any health insurance coverage for all or some of 2007, the most recent year for which comprehensive statewide data is available.

This number represents 19.5 percent of all Californians under age 65, which is slightly lower than the uninsured rate of 20.2 percent in 2005. However, the gains were small and are now likely to be reversed by the current recession, according to the authors of the brief, "Nearly 6.4 Million Californians Lacked Health Insurance in 2007."

"We're looking at the final year of an economic expansion and yet the gains in coverage were small," said lead author E. Richard Brown, director of the Center for Health Policy Research. "If the employer-based system can't increase health insurance in good times, how will they do it in bad? The answer is: they can't. Only comprehensive health care reform will change the equation."

In 2003, the state's unemployment rate rose to 6.8 percent, which was a main driver of the decline in employment-based insurance from 56.4 percent in 2001 to 53.8 percent in 2003. Today in California, the statewide unemployment rate is more than 8 percent and is predicted to rise.

"It suggests we are now in for an even more severe decline in employment-based insurance than in 2003," said co-author and senior research associate Shana Alex Lavarreda.

Funded by grants from the California Endowment and the California Wellness Foundation, the policy brief brief draws on the latest comprehensive data from the CHIS, the largest state health survey in the nation. That data was collected from more than 50,000 Californians, including adults, teenagers and children, on a range of health topics.

"Our current system of health coverage locks too many families out," said Dr. Robert K. Ross, president and chief executive officer of the California Endowment. "We desperately need a system that ensures all Californians have access to health coverage, regardless of heath status, income and employment."

Easily searchable CHIS data on uninsurance and other topics by state, region and county can be found at www.askchis.com. A quick summary of health insurance statistics by county or region is available at the Center for Health Policy Research's updated Health SNAPSHOTS.

"This policy brief is another example of the critical information that the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research is able to provide through analysis of data from the California Health Interview Survey," said Gary L. Yates, president and CEO of the California Wellness Foundation. "It is difficult to overestimate the relevance of this data source in times like these, when so many Californians lack adequate health coverage."

Source: University of California - Los Angeles

Explore further: With kids in school, parents can work out

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Body by smartphone

Jul 30, 2014

We love our smartphones. Since they marched out of the corporate world and into the hands of consumers about 10 years ago, we've relied more and more on our iPhone and Android devices to organize our schedules, ...

Big data confirms climate extremes are here to stay

Jul 30, 2014

In a paper published online today in the journal Scientific Reports, published by Nature, Northeastern researchers Evan Kodra and Auroop Ganguly found that while global temperature is indeed increasing, so too is the variab ...

Data breaches create insurance costs

Jun 12, 2014

Cyber attacks. Data breaches. Cyber crime. They've made headlines, and dealing with them is a growing business expense that can run into the millions of dollars for bigger companies.

The promise and risks of big data

May 30, 2014

To its proponents, big data offers a big promise: insight into complex—and critically important—questions in health care, science, business and more. But its detractors say it poses big risks for individual ...

Researchers automate privacy compliance for big data systems

May 21, 2014

Web services companies, such as Facebook, Google and Microsoft, all make promises about how they will use personal information they gather. But ensuring that millions of lines of code in their systems operate in ways consistent ...

Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

Apr 18, 2014

Almost seven years have passed since Ontario's street-racing legislation hit the books and, according to one Western researcher, it has succeeded in putting the brakes on the number of convictions and, more importantly, injuries ...

Recommended for you

With kids in school, parents can work out

29 minutes ago

(HealthDay)—Back-to-school time provides an opportunity for parents to develop an exercise plan that fits into the family schedules, an expert suggests.

Obama offers new accommodations on birth control

4 hours ago

The Obama administration will offer a new accommodation to religious nonprofits that object to covering birth control for their employees. The measure allows those groups to notify the government, rather than their insurance ...

Use a rule of thumb to control how much you drink

5 hours ago

Sticking to a general rule of pouring just a half glass of wine limits the likelihood of overconsumption, even for men with a higher body mass index. That's the finding of a new Iowa State and Cornell University ...

User comments : 0