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Significant Jump in Medical Debt in California

by Lyju Kuruvilla on February 15, 2012 at 11:08 AM
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 Significant Jump in Medical Debt in California

California, which was hit hard by one of the worst recessions, saw hundreds of thousands of Californians losing insurance coverage as employers dropped jobs and the health plans coming along with it.

California saw a significant jump in its already high rate of residents with medical debt. Compared to 2007, 2009 saw an increase with 2.6 million non-elderly Californians who had some kind of medical debt in 2009.

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Throughout the year, the uninsured recorded the highest in medical debt (18.4% had debt) and among those uninsured for part of the year (23.2%). But even 9.1% of those with employment-based coverage reported some kind of medical debt. This clearly indicates that the Affordable Care Act needs to be implemented successfully.

Among the Medi-Cal enrollees, 18.2% had medical debt, a level comparable to the 18.4% uninsured. This shows that Medi-Cal may not be providing everything its enrollees need, either because certain services are not included in coverage or there are fewer doctors that accept Medi-Cal patients.

More than 50% of Californians with individually purchased insurance participate in high-deductible health plans. Of these, only 8.8% purchase these risky plans with a health savings account that might protect them from financial hardship.

Source: Medindia
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