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Nine Out of Ten Non-Elderly Californians Will Be Insured When the Affordable Care Act is Fully Implemented

June 14, 2012

Policy Brief

Authors: Ken Jacobs, Gregory Watson, MS, Gerald F. Kominski, PhD, Dylan H. Roby, PhD, Dave Graham-Squire, Christina M. Kinane, Daphna Gans, PhD, Jack Needleman, PhD

Nine out of ten Californians under the age of 65 will enroll in health insurance as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to this joint study by the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education and UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. Between 1.8 million and 2.7 million previously uninsured Californians will gain coverage by 2019, when the law's effect is fully realized. 

The projections were made with the California Simulation of Insurance Markets (CalSIM) model, a micro-simulation developed by researchers at the two centers that uses a range of official data sources, including the California Health Interview Survey, to estimate the impact of various elements of the ACA on employer decisions to offer insurance coverage and individual decisions to obtain coverage in California. 

This policy brief looks at both projected enrollment in the California Health Benefit Exchange as well as in the Medi-Cal expansion and finds that as many as 3.7 million uninsured or underinsured Californians will gain access to insurance or switch to better policies that offer increased coverage.

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