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Report: Growing Uninsured Rates Stem From Lack of Employer Health Coverage

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

A new snapshot of California’s growing population of the uninsured reveals some disturbing trends. The report comes from the California Healthcare Foundation. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.

The report shows one in five Californians under the age of 65 is uninsured. The vast majority of the uninsured are employed. California’s high uninsured rate is due in part to a decline in employer-based health coverage. Jill Yegian with the California Healthcare Foundation, says it’s a national trend.

Yegian: It’s a little bit more severe in California because we start from a lower base. Our proportion of the population in California that’s covered by employer sponsored insurance, is quite a bit lower than it is nationally. 

The report shows workers in California’s small businesses are more likely to be uninsured. But nearly one in five uninsured Californians work for companies with 500 or more employees. Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.

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