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June 22, 2007

Snapshot: Health Insurance: Can Californians Afford It?

The California Health Care Foundation has released a 32 page document with relatively little in the way of words to read but with simple graphs and charts showing how Californians with individual and small markets fare in the health insurance they have. "Snapshot: Health Insurance: Can Californians Afford It? 2007 Edition" shows, the premiums paid for both types of insurance, the out of pocket costs of individuals covered, how chronic illnesses affect these, and in the case of employment how much the employer and the worker each pay.

There is also a comparison of these figures between 2003 and 2006 with the trends showing an increase in premiums and out of pocket expenses, something most of us already know. The different figures for HMO's and PPO's are also broken out.

Among their major findings:

• The individual and small group markets are where the greatest number of uninsured Californians would get their coverage, if they could afford it. And these markets are particularly sensitive to price pressures.

• The costs of coverage and care represent a large share of income, particularly for individual purchasers. In 2006, a single person with median household income ($30,623) buying coverage in the individual market would have spent 16% of income on health care expenses. In the small group market, that same person would have spent 3.5% of income covering health care expenses. A full-time minimum wage worker would have spent 35 percent of income

• In exchange for lower monthly premiums, those purchasing coverage through the individual market bear a greater share of the costs of care. Insurance covered 54.6% of a typical consumer's medical bills in the individual market, compared to 83.3% in the small group market.

• For those with chronic conditions, annual out-of-pocket medical expenses are high. In 2006, a person with diabetes spent an estimated $3,275 if covered through the individual market or $1,101 if covered through a small group, well above the health insurance premium.

Click here for cheap California health insurance!

Posted by healthinsurance at June 22, 2007 06:40 PM