Two-thirds of California's 7 Million Uninsured May Obtain Coverage Under Health Care Reform
Almost 4.7 million nonelderly adults and children of the seven million Californians who were uninsured for all or part of 2009 will be eligible for insurance as a result of last year’s health care reform legislation, according to new data from the 2009 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS 2009). Eligible Californians will obtain coverage either through Medi-Cal or through subsidies to purchase private health insurance in the new California Health Benefit Exchange (CHBE) starting in 2014. The CHBE will also be open to 1.2 million uninsured persons who do not qualify for subsidized premiums due to their income exceeding eligibility levels, but who will benefit from the new marketplace created through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Just over one million uninsured persons do not qualify to participate in either the CHBE or in the Medi-Cal expansion due to their citizenship status. With seven million uninsured residents of California in 2009, the new insurance options made available by the PPACA could face challenges in enrolling these uninsured individuals.