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The State of Health Insurance in California: Findings from the 2007 California Health Interview Survey

August 1, 2009

Policy Research Report

Authors: Richard Kronick, Ninez A. Ponce, PhD, MPP, Jennifer R. Kincheloe, Shana Alex Charles, PhD, MPP, Erin Peckham

This comprehensive, biennial report provides an overview of insurance trends throughout the state and looks specifically at coverage of California's working adults, elderly as well as children's coverage. It also examines the consequences of lacking insurance and provides policy recommendations.

Based on data from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) that was collected during a period of economic growth — 2007 — the report provides a clear picture of the adequacy of health insurance arrangements at a time of seemingly high capacity.

The authors found that health insurance coverage system stagnated even as the economy expanded. Using the data from several CHIS survey cycles, the report shows little change in employment-based coverage and a drop in employment-based coverage for children between 2001 and 2007. The report also found that nearly one in 13 Californians had some kind of medical debt and that those with debt were twice as likely as those without debt to report delays in getting needed medical care.

The report was funded by grants from The California Endowment and The California Wellness Foundation.

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