No ins. for 1-in-5 working Californians

Dec. 1, 2010 at 11:41 PM   |   Comments

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- One-fifth of Californians who lived in households with at least one employed family member had no a job-based health insurance in 2007, researchers say.

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."

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