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Sources of Success in California's Individual Marketplace under the Affordable Care Act


When passed in 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became the greatest piece of health care reform in the United States since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid. In the 9 years since its passage, the law has ushered in a drastic decrease in the number of uninsured Americans and has encouraged delivery system innovation. However, the ACA has not been uniformly embraced, and states differ in their implementation of the law and in their individual health insurance marketplace's successfulness. Furthermore, under the Trump administration the law's future and the stability of the individual market have been uncertain. Throughout, however, California has been a leader. Today, the state's marketplace, known as Covered California, offers comprehensive, standardized health plans to over 1.3 million consumers. California's success with the ACA is largely attributable to its historical receptiveness to health reform; its early adoption of the law; its decision to have Covered California operate as an active purchaser, help shape the plans sold through the marketplace, and design a consumer-friendly enrollment experience; its engagement with stakeholders and community partners to encourage enrollment; and Covered California's commitment to continually innovate, improve, and anticipate the needs of the individual market as the law moves forward.

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