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Which Californians Will Lack Health Insurance Under the Affordable Care Act?

January 29, 2015

Policy Brief

Authors: Laurel Lucia, MPP, Miranda Dietz, Ken Jacobs, Xiao Chen, PhD, Gerald F. Kominski, Ph.D.

While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is expected to reduce California's uninsurance rate by at least half, between 2.7 and 3.4 million Californians are projected to remain uninsured by 2019, according to this joint policy brief by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education.

Projections from the California Simulation of Insurance Markets (CalSIM) model indicate that up to half of Californians remaining uninsured will be undocumented immigrants who are not eligible under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Most others lacking insurance will be eligible for Medi-Cal or subsidized insurance through Covered California but remain unenrolled due to difficulties with the enrollment process, inability to afford coverage, concerns about negative immigration-related consequences for themselves or their family members, or other barriers. Almost three-fourths of the remaining uninsured will be Latino, almost one-third will reside in Los Angeles County, and about 70 percent will be exempt from paying a tax penalty for lacking coverage.


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