Within the Golden State that is California, all is not necessarily golden in terms of who does and does not have health insurance.
California is one of the most populous states in the nation. According to the United States Census Bureau, it is home to well over 30 million people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds. But regardless of their age or the language they speak each of them has one thing in common – they all need health insurance.
There are many ways for California residents to obtain health insurance. Some are eligible to participate in group health insurance plans sponsored by their employers. Others purchase individual health insurance for themselves and their families. Low-income individuals are often eligible for Medicaid, and seniors for Medicare. Both these government-sponsored programs are designed to protect the most vulnerable Americans from having to deal with healthcare costs on their own.
Being uninsured leads to higher healthcare costs in the long run because conditions and problems that could be easily cured or arrested with early detection often go undiagnosed because people can’t afford to visit their doctor.
The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that there are around 6,448,540 uninsured Californians – that is over 15 percent of the state’s total population. Of those who are insured, the Foundation reports that over 2 million require individual health insurance because they are not eligible for coverage through their employer or through Medicaid or Medicare.
Even the over 8 million Californians who do qualify for Medicaid or Medicare often require supplemental coverage. Many insurance companies offer programs specifically designed to meet the requirements of people who want or need more coverage than Medicaid or Medicare provides. For example, a senior might be interested in a program that includes discounts on services such as vision check-ups and corrective lenses, dental care or even chiropractic services.