Snapshot: Health Insurance: Can Californians Afford It? 2007 Edition

National Opinion Research Center

This snapshot examines changes in the affordability and scope of coverage of health insurance in California in the individual and small group markets.

June 2007

Most uninsured Californians would get their coverage, if they could afford it, in the individual and small group markets. And these markets are particularly sensitive to price pressures.

This chart book examines changes in the affordability and generosity of health insurance in California in the individual and small group markets.

Some key findings are:

  • 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.
  • 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.

The complete snapshot is available as a Document Download, along with a 2005 edition.

In addition, a Health Affairs article discusses these same themes and is available through the Related CHCF Pages link below.