Left behind after health reform: millions of legal and undocumented immigrants

[ Posted on December 18th, 2014 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]

PUBHEALTH_DREAMA story in the autumn issue of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health magazine about the future of immigrant health in the post-Affordable Care Act world featured four Center representatives – Associate Directors Ninez Ponce and Steven Wallace, Director of Research Nadereh Pourat, and Faculty Associate Arturo Vargas Bustamante.

The story said that while some legal immigrants benefitted from reforms, many have been left out because they are ineligible for Medicare of Medi-Cal if they have lived in the country less than five years. And the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country also are ineligible for Medicare or Medi-Cal and ineligible to buy insurance on a government-run exchange because of their legal status, despite being part of the country’s economic engine.

“Our estimates project no change in insurance coverage for undocumented immigrants — they have access problems now, and the ACA will do nothing to improve that,” said Wallace.

Read the story.

How to reach the remaining 6 percent uninsured in 2019

[ Posted on December 12th, 2014 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]


By the end of 2019, CalSIM estimates the state’s uninsured population could drop to about 6 percent of the population, or 2.5 million of the state’s projected 40 million residents, according to a story in Reporting on Health.

Lucien Wulsin, a Center faculty associate and executive director of Insured the Uninsured Project, said it will take more creativity to cover that last 6 percent. For instance, half the remaining uninsured are predicted to be undocumented residents, and others may not realize they qualify for Medi-Cal or for subsidies on the state health exchange.

Read the story.

Real-time tools aid health enrollment success

[ Posted on December 12th, 2014 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]


Programs run by health agencies in Los Angeles, San Mateo and San Francisco counties are successfully signing up the uninsured for health coverage, aided by an online system that establishes web eligibility in real time and leads to same-day enrollment, according a California Healthline story.

The story was based on a live-streamed discussion with the Center’s Health Economics and Evaluation Research Program director Dylan Roby and county health officers about health care after the Low Income Health Program (LIHP) and possible effects the proposed extension of the Medicaid 1115 waiver would have on the remaining uninsured.

Read the story or listen to the webinar.

Limited reception for “mobile health” in rural California

[ Posted on December 10th, 2014 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]


Steven P. Wallace


In rural California, doctors and other medical providers are few, and residents often drive hours just to get a checkup, according to a story in the Los Angeles Times. The story cites a Center study coauthored by Nadereh Pourat and Steven Wallace about the higher incidence of obesity, chronic disease and falls among older adults in rural areas.

So it seems rural communities in Kern and Inyo counties would be a logical place to use mobile health — a system connecting patients to doctors by cellphone and other mobile devices.

But spotty cell service and a population lukewarm to cellphones has hindered development of mobile health, the story reports. The cost of installing a cell tower is expensive for the “handful” of customers, a cell service industry expert said in the story, and the CFO at  Southern Inyo Hospital said the people in the area “don’t want to be ruled by a phone and a clock and other people.”

Read the story.


Dec. 9 webinar: The Low-Income Health Program after the ACA: What about the remaining uninsured?

[ Posted on December 8th, 2014 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]


Join Health Economics and Evaluation Research Program director Dylan Roby, other experts from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and representatives from safety net health programs in Los Angeles, San Mateo and San Francisco counties as they discuss the Low Income Health Program (LIHP) and its effect on continuing health care delivery for uninsured Californians.

Models for providing care to the uninsured after LIHP will be discussed as well as California’s proposed Medicaid 1115 waiver renewal and its potential impact on the uninsured.

Date: Tuesday, December 9
Time: Noon-1pm
Join the webinar: http://connectpro72759986.adobeconnect.com/lihpfinal/

Better off after the ACA or not? Ask Dr. Roby

[ Posted on December 4th, 2014 by Center Communications | No Comments » ]

Dylan Roby, left, and Dr. Partha Nandi

Dylan Roby, director of the Center’s Health Economics and Evaluation Research Program, recently appeared on Ask Dr. Nandi, the Detroit-based medical talk show, for a segment called “Truth in Medical Care.”  The show focused on two women who said their new insurance plans were more costly and less comprehensive after enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Roby said that, in general, people will find that they’re better off over time because of the ACA. Today’s workers no longer have the “protection” of being provided employer-based health coverage – the share of workers covered by an employer-based health plan declined from 80 percent in the 1980s to about 50 percent today. Insurers had raised premiums, switched to high-deductible plans, and stopped offering coverage to employees well before health reform was enacted, he said.

Wtih the ACA, he said people another option. Also, because of the ACA, more people – such as low-income people without children – are covered by  Medicaid, and insurers can no longer refuse coverage to someone with a preexisting condition, such as diabetes. “Now, at least, everybody has … a safety net,” Roby said.

When one guest said the annual penalty for not having insurance was more affordable than a monthly insurance premium, Roby said a healthy person could just “make the easy call” and pay the penalty, but the risk is not having health coverage when it is needed.

Watch the video, using the password, nandi.

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