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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Achieving equity by building a bridge from eligible to enrolled


As we draw closer to 2014 and the full implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), we continue to increase our understanding of its full potential and its implications. In California, about 6.7 million nonelderly adults will be eligible for coverage under the law, through either Medi-Cal or tax credits to purchase insurance through California’s new Health Benefit Exchange.

This policy brief, developed with support from the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN), highlights findings from the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research’s California Simulation of Insurance Markets (CalSIM) model. The CalSIM model 

estimates the effects of specific provisions of the ACA on family and employer decisions about insurance coverage in California. 

People of color and those who speak English less than very well (Limited English Proficient, or LEP) could benefit greatly from implementation of the ACA. However, although the LEP population represents a considerable portion of those eligible, without effective multilingual outreach and enrollment efforts, language barriers may result in a difference of 110,000 fewer LEP individuals enrolled in the Exchange. To fully realize the potential of the ACA and California’s Health Benefit Exchange, resources need to be allocated for culturally and linguistically appropriate outreach and education to facilitate enrollment in coverage among all those who are eligible. 

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