No health insurance for almost 1 in 4 Californians under 65 last year

Nearly one in four Californians under age 65 had no health insurance last year, according to a new report.

The state's uninsured population jumped to 8.2 million in 2009, up from 6.4 million in 2007, marking the highest number over the last decade, investigators from UCLA's Center for Health Policy Research said in findings reported today by the Los Angeles Times.

People who were uninsured for part or all of 2009 accounted for 24.3 percent of California's population under age 65 – a dramatic increase from 2007 driven largely by Californians who lost employer-sponsored health insurance, particularly over the last year, The Times reported.

Among those over age 18, nearly 1 in 3 had no insurance for all or part of 2009, the UCLA researchers found. The ranks of uninsured children also grew. The study was based on phone interviews from 2007, updated with current insurance enrollment data, according to The Times.

Adults over age 65, who are covered by the federal Medicare insurance program, were not included.