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Number of Uninsured in California Remained at Record Low in 2016

October 31, 2017

Fact Sheet

Author: Tara Becker, PhD

The number of uninsured Californians remained at a record low in 2016, in line with 2015 trends and dramatically lower than before implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010. In 2016, enrollment in California's Medicaid program, Medi-Cal, reached one-third (33.0 percent) of California's nonelderly population, or nearly 11 million people, while private purchase coverage remained steady at 6.9 percent. Average monthly enrollment in the state's health insurance exchange, Covered California, was 1.3 million, a small reduction from 2015. 

Due to the increase in Medi-Cal enrollment, the uninsured rate continued to decline, dropping to a new low of 8.5 percent; the number of uninsured Californians decreased by 337,000, to 2.8 million. 

Enrollment in Medi-Cal continued to rise, due both to increased participation by nonelderly adults and to the effects of the Health for All Kids Act, which in May 2016 opened up enrollment in full-scope Medicaid to undocumented children ages 18 and younger.

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