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California Continues to Have the Greatest Number of Uninsured Residents in U.S.

A new report from the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) indicates that California continues to be the state with largest number of uninsured residents, 7.1 million. The state ranks seventh in the overall share (22%) of its residents who are uninsured. These findings are a part of a long-term decline in the percentage of Californians with health insurance–a trend that has lasted two decades.

Additionally, the share of California residents with employer-based health coverage also continued to ebb (from 65% to 52% between 1987 and 2011). Public insurance programs have offered coverage to many individuals who lost insurance in that time, yet many people remain ineligible or are not enrolled. The implementation of the Affordable Care Act will substantially expand public health subsidy programs in 2014 and reduce the share of uninsured residents considerably, both in California and across the U.S.

The CHCF report also indicates that almost one in four workers in California lacks health insurance, and employees of businesses of all sizes are less likely to have coverage in California than in the U.S. as a whole. In fact, among workers in businesses with fewer than ten employees, roughly 40% have no insurance.

Notably, nearly one third of the uninsured both in California and the U.S. have annual family incomes of $50,000 or more, and 54% of California’s uninsured children were in families in which the head of the household had full-time employment in 2011. Further, securing health coverage remains a major challenge in California’s Latino community. Latinos constitute a majority (59%) of the state’s uninsured, nearly six in ten, and they have the highest uninsured rate (31%) of any racial or ethnic group.

For the full report, click here.