Health Insurance Coverage in California Keeps Shrinking as Preimiums Family Cost Continue to Climb

Medical care has become too expensive in California, leaving 6.7 million state residents uninsured and exposed to the catastrophic costs of accidents and illnesses.1 The economic downturn that began 19 months ago has vaporized 7 million jobs across the U.S. and driven the California unemployment rate to 11 percent from 5.9 percent.2 More families are finding themselves without health benefits just as the cost of buying coverage on the open market has climbed to record levels.3 While the employed take comfort in holding on to their jobs, thousands of workers at small businesses in California and millions more nationwide remain uninsured because the price of comprehensive health insurance has soared out of reach. And across the nation more than half of Americans whose jobs and benefits are intact nonetheless live in fear of becoming sudden casualties of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.4 Health insurance premiums have risen so high that experts forecast 52 million Americans will be without coverage next year.5 Left alone to purchase coverage directly from private health insurance companies, families often have no choice but to remain uninsured or buy policies with meager benefits.