Join Our Network

Follow Us:

  • RSS

New Kaiser Report on Remaining Uninsured Shows Importance of Enrollment Outreach, Health for All

New Kaiser Report on Remaining Uninsured Shows Importance of Enrollment Outreach, Health for All

As Covered California’s third open enrollment period fast approaches, a new report sheds some light on the state’s remaining uninsured and finds that roughly half are eligible for either Medi-Cal or subsidized coverage through Covered California. Earlier this week, the Kaiser Family Foundation released New Estimates of Eligibility for ACA Coverage among the Uninsured, which looks at the over 32 million remaining uninsured across the country after the first two years of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage expansions.

Nationally, the report shows the devastating impact of many states’ refusals to expand Medicaid. Roughly one-tenth of the remaining uninsured in the U.S. – over 3 million individuals – would fall into the coverage gap and could have been covered had their states decided to expand Medicaid as stipulated in the ACA.

But the report also looks at the remaining uninsured at a state-by-state level, and with this analysis we see that over half (53%) of California’s more than 3.8 million uninsured are eligible for either Medi-Cal (37%) or for subsidized coverage in Covered California (16%). These numbers show that while we have cut our state’s uninsured population nearly in half over the past three years, we still have an opportunity to continue this dramatic improvement. With another open enrollment period on the horizon, it is imperative that there are sufficient outreach and enrollment efforts, particularly in low-income areas, communities of color, and Limited English Proficient populations to maximize participation by the eligible population.

What the report also tells us is that nearly half (47%) are ineligible for coverage, largely due to their immigration status. California took a step toward covering this population last week when Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 4 (Lara), the Health for All Kids Act, which made it easier for all children, regardless of immigration status, to enroll in affordable health coverage. However, undocumented adults, who are vital contributors to the state’s economy, remain unable to enroll in any health programs. Coming up next year we will continue the Health for All movement with another legislative effort to expand coverage to undocumented adults. Specifically, there will be legislation, SB 10 (Lara), which will seek to allow undocumented adults to purchase coverage through Covered California with their own money. This bill will also seek to allow undocumented adults that meet the program’s eligibility criteria to enroll in Medi-Cal.

CPEHN remains committed to the Health for All movement to cover all Californians. We will continue our efforts to advocate for the inclusion of undocumented immigrants in our public health programs. And until that goal is accomplished, we will also work to ensure our safety net programs are adequately funded through the state budget. This Kaiser Family Foundation report is a great reminder about the work we have left to do to achieve equity in health care access. Check back on our blog for ongoing updates on Health for All and for ways you can take action.

Commenting Policy: CPEHN encourages our readers to post comments in response to blog posts. We place a high value on diversity and discussion. We would like our comments section to remain a place where anyone can post their thoughts knowing they will be treated in a respectful manner. We actively moderate comments and we reserve the right to edit or remove comments that create a hostile environment for other posters.