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New Study Says Full-Time Employees Were Uninsured in 2012

A report by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research recently disclosed information regarding California employees who worked full-time in 2012.

Data retrieved from a 2011 to 2012 health interview survey highlighted one particular issue during that time: a large number of full-time workers and their families lacked medical coverage.

The study found that nearly half of California’s 6.9 million uninsured population was living in a household with a full-time worker.

The state first saw a major regression in the number of locally insured residents in 2009, and the numbers continued to drop up until 2012.

According to one report’s statistical findings, part-time workers witnessed their insurance percentage points drop by 2.2 to 39.6 percent in the health insurance pool. However, full-time workers experienced a near 3-point decrease to 63.6 percent. 

As one of the regions in the U.S. with the highest Latino population, California also had the lowest rate of uninsured Hispanics. 

Research shows that the Latino community had the highest uninsured rate (28.4 percent) and the lowest percentage (33.9 percent) of healthcare coverage provided by a job. Compared to whites, Hispanics job-based insurance coverage was 29.4 percent less.

Yet, one in four white middle-classed residents who were living well over the poverty level still went without coverage.   

The study also examined how coverage was in the U.S. between 2009 and 2012, years before the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Older adults in their 40s and 50s saw their job-based medical coverage start at 49 percent and then drop to a little over 45 percent. Young adults, on the other hand, experienced some of the best on-the-job health insurance during this period.

Coverage for people ranging from ages 19 to 26 increased from 23.2 percent to 27.1 percent. Also, from 2009 to 2012, this age group had the largest plunge in the people who are uninsured—specifically a 2.9 percent drop.  

While the health care industry is doing much better than what it was two years ago, there are still some defects that need improvement such as expensive deductibles.

For some people with medical coverage in 2012, underinsurance and other related issues did exist.  

High deductibles and premiums caused most insured people to not seek medical care.

For those with high-deductible plans, 16.1 percent went without or delayed medical attention compared to the 6.6 percent who had low-deductible plans.

However, the Affordable Care Act has been a breakthrough thus far in providing coverage for those working full-time. Now researchers hope to use it as a comparison tool that measures how helpful health care was before the passing of the law.

One of the study’s leading authors mentioned how the “health care reform filled a huge and growing gap in job-based insurance.”

Co-author and director of the Center for Health Policy Research Gerald Kominski also added that the report’s stats prove how insufficient health care insurance was in the U.S. up until 2012, especially for those working full-time jobs in California.

“This report shows us where we were, and it wasn’t a good place,” concluded Kominski. “From here on out we can accurately measure how California’s health improves under reform.”


Image: iStock

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