California health insurance plans have become an issue recently for two main reasons: an increased number of uninsured individuals and new proposals for changing the current California health insurance system dramatically.
California Health Insurance: Not Reaching Everyone
While the number of individuals without health insurance has grown everywhere in the United States, California’s numbers are significantly higher. According to the California Health Care Chartbook, CA health insurance plans didn’t cover 18% of the state’s population in 2002. Furthermore, 20% of the state’s elderly population is not covered by any type of California health insurance.
Part of the reason for California’s numbers was its large immigrant population. Twenty-seven percent of California’s population is made up of immigrants and 52% of these individuals who have been in the state under 5 years have no insurance coverage. Even after living in California for more than 5 years, a significant portion, 40%, still don’t have health care.
Children under the age of 18 were the least likely to be uninsured. However, the majority of those children will be left without health insurance once they turn 18 because they will no longer be eligible for Medicaid or because they may no longer be covered by their parents’ health insurance plan. As a result, they will likely end up uninsured eventually.
An Alternative to Current California Health Insurance Plans
In May, 2005, a new proposal based in the California Senate which may provide an answer to the problems with California health insurance. Known as the California Health Insurance Reliability Act, the new bill would guarantee health insurance coverage for every person in California.
The current California health insurance method would be replaced by a single-payer system with one non-profit insurance plan available. California residents would be able to go to any doctor they choose and all of their necessary medical treatments would be covered. There would be no deductibles or our-of-pocket expenses for anyone.
You can learn more about this bill and its potential impact on California, and perhaps the rest of the United States, by visiting HealthCareForAll.org.
Other California Health Insurance Information
If you are interested in learn more about California health insurance, including your rights if you have a pre-existing condition, read “A Consumer’s Guide to Getting and Keeping Health Insurance in California”. More information on California Medical Insurance.
For information on health care situations in other states, you can read our articles on:
Texas Health Insurance
Georgia Health Insurance
Florida Health Insurance
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Benefit information for California Nursing Jobs
California hospital rankings and ratings based on federal performance guidelines.