Despite all the uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act at the Federal level, in California there has been some good news this month about the ACA.
Not only Covered California, the state’s health insurance marketplace, ended its fourth open enrollment period with more than 412,000 new people enrolled in a health plan, but a new survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that California’s uninsured rate dropped to a new record low of 7.1 percent compared to the 8.8 percent at the national level.
The survey data shows that the state’s uninsured rate in California is falling faster than the national average.
Before the ACA was fully implemented in January of 2014, the uninsured rate in California was 17 percent in 2013, higher than the national average which was 14.4 percent.
And California’s uninsured rate dropped each year (12 percent in 2014, 8.1 percent in 2015) after the ACA was fully implemented and Covered California was open for business.
Now Covered California has a total enrollment of more than 1.5 million people, according to officials at the state’s exchange.
Health advocate and Covered California officials are please to see the new low record for the uninsured.
“Covered California is proud to be part of the effort that is helping millions of people get the coverage and care they need,” said Peter V. Lee, Covered California executive director in an statement. “From expanding Medi-Cal to launching a competitive state-based marketplace, California is empowering consumers and providing quality and value.”
Anthony Wright, executive director for Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition said, “More than ever before, more Californians have health coverage and the peace of mind and financial security that comes with it.”
Wright was at the nation’s capital doing Congressional visits in Washington, DC when the survey data was released by the CDC.
The CDC survey covered the period of January to September 2016, and showed a dramatic improvement when compared to national averages.
Covered California officials noted that CDC’s survey data does not include the fourth open enrollment period that ended on Jan. 31, where 412,105 new consumers in California signed up for health coverage.
“California’s uninsured rate dropping to a record low is a testament to the expansions under the Affordable Care Act, and the will of our state to take advantage of those benefits for our citizens,” Wright said.
However Wright says that beside the good news all Californians should be concern with “Congress’ rush to repeal the Medi-Cal expansion, Covered California affordability assistance, and other Affordable Care Act benefits, especially without any replacement in place.”
Even though open enrollment has ended, consumers can still obtain health coverage through special enrollment period.
Some of the most common life-changing events or circumstances included but at not limited to losing their health coverage from a job or Medi-Cal, getting married, having a child, or moving your place of residency.
Covered California website has more information on special enrollment rules and you can visit at: www.CoveredCA.com/individuals-and-families/getting-covered/special-enrollment.
And as a reminder Medi-Cal enrollment is year-round and you don’t need a special enrollment period to enroll in Medi-Cal if you qualify for it.
Vida en el Valle will go over some of the ABC’s of the Affordable Care Act to refresh your memory of some of the terms and bring you information of the health care reform.
If you have any questions regarding the health reform you can email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and will address those concerns in future editions.