New facts about why health reform is needed in CA…

Under all versions of health reform currently pending in Congress, millions of Californians would get significant help in affording their coverage and/or in improving the comprehensiveness of their coverage, according to three new studies just released by UC-Berkeley and the University of Chicago. The studies also indicate the important differences between the House and Senate versions, as they head into conference committee.

The data puts into context the millions of Californians who would get help under health reform–and not just the uninsured. Many who have coverage would get more stability and security.

Here are some of the key findings from these three important studies that have been just released about the impact of health reform on California.

* Californians’ Access to Coverage under the Health Reform Proposals
This data brief finds that nearly 4 million Californians who are without health insurance, covered in the individual market or enrolled in unaffordable job-based coverage, would be eligible for Medicaid or subsidized coverage under the national health reform proposals. The brief analyzes both the House and Senate legislation to compare how they differ in their impacts on Californians.
* Close to 2 million Californians who were uninsured, in the individual market or had unaffordable employer sponsored insurance in 2007 would qualify for Medicaid under the House bill, compared to 1.74 million under the Senate bill.
* 1.93 million Californians would be eligible for subsidies in the exchange under the House bill and 2.19 million in the Senate.
* 95 percent of California businesses, employing 44 percent of all workers would be eligible to purchase coverage through an exchange by 2015.
* One out of five businesses would be eligible for tax credits towards the purchase of that coverage.

* National Health Reform Requirements and California Employers
This issue brief analyzes the impact that the House and Senate health reform proposals would have on the 18.4 million Californians who are enrolled in employer-based insurance. While the vast majority of employees work for firms that currently comply with most of the new requirements for employer-based insurance included in the bills, reform legislation, if passed, would increase protection for many insured workers and their families in California. Many workers would have their coverage improved under these bills. They include those who’s coverage now is less than comprehensive:
* 23 percent of workers with employer-based insurance are enrolled in a plan either without an out-of-pocket limit or a limit exceeding $5,000.
* Over 40 percent of insured employees are enrolled in a plan with a lifetime limit.
* About 10 percent of California insured workers are enrolled in a plan where preventive benefits are subject to a deductible.

* How Would Health Care Reforms Change the Spending of California Families Without an Employer Plan?
This report uses simulated claims data to project out of pocket costs at different cost sharing subsidy levels for the House and Senate bills, and provide a comparison to costs in the current individual market in California. Among the findings:
* Californians with an income of $16,245 a year would save $5,053 on average on premiums and out-of-pocket costs under the House bill compared to what they would spend in the current individual market; they would save $4,116 under the Senate bill.
* Those with an income of $43,320 a year would save $838 a year under both plans compared to what they would spend in the current individual market.
* California families of three with typical health care use earning less than $59,000 would spend significantly less under the House bill than the Senate bill, while those earning between $59,000 and $73,240 would spend less under the Senate bill.

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.

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