Lead author Shana Alex Lavarreda, director of health insurance studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, Center for Health Policy Research, says working adults without access to job-based insurance -- either their own or a spouse's -- had little success in securing other types of coverage.
Of the one-third of those without health insurance from an employer, 14 percent obtained coverage from Medi-Cal benefits, 11.8 percent purchased private insurance and 7.4 percent were coverage from their parent's health plan.
Nearly three-fifths of California's children were insured through Medi-Cal or Healthy Families and an additional 7.5 percent purchased private insurance, but 21.4 percent of children in the state with parents who did not have access to job-based coverage went without health insurance.
Latinos and employees of small businesses were among the least likely to acquire job-based health insurance, the study says.
"Public programs are an effective safety net for children without access to job-based coverage, but not their parents," Lavarreda says in a statement. "Expansions of coverage options under the federal waiver and healthcare reform should provide some relief for millions of Californians who don't have access to job-based coverage."