Low-income earners, young adults, part-time workers, and people of color in California gained the most between 2013 and 2015 when health insurance was expanded under the Affordable Care Act, according to a new report by the UC Berkeley Center for Labor research and Education and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.
Now, with the impending repeal and replacement of the ACA, people in these and other groups have the most to lose and risk sliding back into the ranks of the uninsured, acccording to the report.
Under the ACA, California cut the number of its uninsured residents in half, from 6.5 million in 2013 to 3.3 million in 2015 — the largest decline in the uninsured rate of any state. The two major reasons for this drop were the expansion of Medicaid and the federal subsidies that helped make it affordable for people to buy individual insurance through the state health insurance marketplace, Covered California. Statewide, 9.4 percent of the adult population enrolled in the expanded Medi-Cal, and 3.1 percent enrolled in Covered California using subsidies.
Medi-Cal expansion drove most of the drop in uninsurance rates, enabling 3.7 million adults to become newly eligible for coverage. Under a repeal, counties with high Medi-Cal expansion enrollment – Humboldt, Mendocino (both 13.9 percent), Trinity (13.6 percent), Fresno (12 percent), and Stanislaus (11.6 percent) – could be heavily affected.
Read the study: ACA Repeal in California: Who Stands to Lose?