Percentage Of Uninsured Californians Declined In 2007
The percentage of Californians younger than age 65 who were uninsured at some point in 2007 declined to 19.5% from 20.2% in 2005, according to a survey released on Monday by the University of California-Los Angeles Center for Health Policy Research, the Sacramento Bee reports. Researchers attributed the drop to an increase in employer-sponsored coverage in 2007.
The survey found that 10.2% of children in California ages 18 and younger were uninsured and that 23.9% of California adults ages 19 to 64 were uninsured at some point in 2007 (Sacramento Bee, 12/15). According to the survey, more than half of the 683,000 uninsured children surveyed were eligible but not enrolled in Healthy Families, the state's version of SCHIP, or Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program.
Nearly one-quarter of the children surveyed were eligible but not enrolled in the public-private Healthy Kids program in their county, the report found. According to the report, most of those programs are having difficulties raising funds and are freezing enrollment. The report also found that 6.6% of the uninsured adults were eligible for Medi-Cal (Berrios, Los Angeles Daily News, 12/15).
Researchers predicted that the uninsured rate has likely increased in the past year as unemployment rose and more people lost employer-sponsored coverage (Sacramento Bee, 12/15). E. Richard Brown, the UCLA center's director and the brief's lead author, said, "It's already worse -- we just don't have a way to measure it," adding, "With the current economic drop into the tank, we can definitely expect that this trend will be dramatically reversed" (Los Angeles Daily News, 12/15).
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