Uninsured

CoveredCA Again Extends Enrollment Deadline, Giving Californians More Time to Sign-Up for Health Coverage

Covered California has announced an extension of the special enrollment deadline to the end of August. Due to the continued surge in COVID-19 cases throughout the state, Covered California will give consumers additional time to sign up for health coverage during this pandemic—especially for those who lost not just jobs, and income, but also employer-based health coverage. In March, Covered California responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by initially extending the special enrollment for any eligible uninsured individuals who needed health care coverage through June 30. The deadline was further extended to July 31, and now through August. During this time, Covered California reports that over 231,000 Californians have enrolled in health care coverage through the exchange—2.5 times more enrollments than during the same […] Read More

California Expands Emergency COVID-19 Treatment for Uninsured

California continues to take urgent and necessary steps to fight the public health emergency  created by COVID-19. Late last week, California announced new measures to provide emergency coverage for COVID-19 testing and treatment for the uninsured and some underinsured. Under this new “presumptive eligibility” guidance by the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), uninsured and some underinsured Californians will be able to get covered under emergency Medi-Cal for COVID-19 testing and treatment. This builds on earlier guidance from DHCS that clarified that Medi-Cal coverage for COVID-19 testing and treatment for those in restricted-scope Medi-Cal whether the emergency care takes place in inpatient or outpatient services, including hospitals or a community clinic. This new Medi-Cal aid code will reach beyond the 13 million Californians […] Read More

COVID-19 and the ACA’s 10th Anniversary

On March 23, 2020, we mark the 10th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Especially at this moment, we are grateful for the improvements in our health system that were sorely needed and now help at at time like this. In the context of the COVID-19 crisis, California’s health system would be much less equipped to deal with the pandemic if the ACA had not been put in place. Prior to the implementation of the ACA: we had four million more uninsured Californians, and a uninsured rate of nearly 20%; we had more financially struggling hospitals and health providers, and we didn’t have the resulting surge in our health system capacity throughout the state; we had those who are […] Read More

California Before 10 Years of the ACA

Especially given all that is going on in our health system, it is time to stop re-litigating a health law signed ten years ago, especially one that has shown so much proven success. California is proof of how much our health system has transformed. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, California was the national poster child for the need for health care reform in 2010: SKY HIGH UNINSURED RATE: California had the highest number of uninsured of any state, and the 7th highest uninsured rate in the nation. If Southern California were its own state, it would have rivaled Texas for number one. Los Angeles could claim to be Ground Zero for the health care crisis in America. The Census […] Read More

2018 Census Data Shows CA Uninsured Rate Holds Steady Despite National Increase

After years of decline after the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), new 2018 Census data released today shows the first national increase in the uninsured rate since 2013, with the rate going up from 7.9% to 8.5%, or by 1.9 million Americans to 27.5 million.  By contrast, California’s uninsured rate has held steady at 7.2%, lower than the average national rate, with 2.8 million uninsured, according to the Census. While the Trump Administration and Congress continues to seek to sabotage our health care, California has aggressively implemented and improved upon the ACA, which accounts for the largest drop in the uninsured rate of all 50 states from 2013 – 2018, down by more than half (17.2% to 7.2%). After the ACA covered millions […] Read More

New Report: California’s Historic Health Coverage Gains at Risk Without State Action

Today, the UC Berkeley Labor Center and UCLA Center for Health Policy Research released a report titled “California’s Health Coverage Gains to Erode Without Further State Action” detailing the negative state-level impacts of the elimination of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate. Researchers find that because of the removal of the requirement to have health insurance, the uninsurance rate of people under age 65 could grow to 11.7% in 2020 (about 4 million people) and then to 12.9% in 2023 (or 4.4 million people), undoing the historic gains that California has made under the ACA. The largest groups of the remaining uninsured are undocumented Californians who are barred from accessing most health coverage options and Californians who struggle to afford their care. California’s aggressive implementation and improvement […] Read More

New Census Data Shows California’s Continued Reduction in Uninsured Rate, Need to Protect Progress

New 2017 Census data released today has made it official that California has had the largest drop in the uninsured rate of all 50 states from 2013 to 2017, going from 6.5 million uninsured to 2.8 million, now down to 7.2%. The uninsured rate in both the United States and in California dropped dramatically with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and sets a platform for additional progress at the state level. California has historically had one of the highest uninsurance rates in the nation–as high as seventh in the nation. The reduction of 10 percentage points is unprecedented. In other states, Nevada had the next biggest drop at 9.5 points, followed by New Mexico, Kentucky, and Louisiana. After the major reductions […] Read More

New Census Data Shows CA Had Largest Drop in the Uninsured Rate in the Nation

New 2016 Census data released this week has made it official: California has had the largest drop in the uninsured rate of all 50 states from 2013 to 2016, going from 6.5 million uninsured to 2.8 million, now down to a 7.3% uninsured rate. The uninsured rate in both the United States and in California dropped dramatically with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and sets a platform for additional progress at the state level. For the interesting state-by-state data to see where California ranks, check out Table 6, Figures 7 & 8, and Table A-5.  California used to have one of the highest uninsured rates in the nation, but now through implementing and improving upon the ACA, the […] Read More

New Health Access Report Details Dramatic Expansions in California’s County Health Care Safety-Net

Today, Health Access released a new report detailing the dramatic changes to California’s health care safety net programs at the county level. As the Affordable Care Act implementation has cut the number of uninsured Californians in half and the state has taken additional steps to cover all children, many California counties have extended their health care safety net programs to better serve the remaining uninsured. Counties have responded in various ways, from expanding coverage options to undocumented immigrants to providing new benefits to those already covered. A year ago, less than ten counties served undocumented Californians outside of the emergency room; on Monday, that number will expand to 47 counties. On Monday, more Californians in 35 of the state’s most […] Read More