ACA Led to Drop in Calif.’s Uninsured Rate, but Care Delays Remain

My Patient Rights | Stay Informed | ACA Led to Drop in Calif.’s Uninsured Rate, but Care Delays Remain

ACA Led to Drop in Calif.’s Uninsured Rate, but Care Delays Remain

The percentage of uninsured Californian adults under age 65 dropped by more than 15% from 2013 to 2014 under the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansions, according to data from the California Health Interview Survey, Kaiser Health News reports.

More than 23,000 California residents participated in the 2014 survey.

Findings on Insurance Coverage

According to the survey, enrollment in Medi-Cal — California’s Medicaid program — increased significantly when it was expanded under the ACA. Specifically, nearly 20% of adults younger than age 65 were enrolled in Medi-Cal in 2014, up from 13% in 2013.

However, the survey found that about four million California adults still were uninsured, with rates varying by race and ethnicity.

Latino and Asian adults were more likely to be uninsured than non-Hispanic whites. According to the survey, 28% of Latinos adults were uninsured in 2014, compared with:

  • 13.5% of Asians;
  • 10.8% of blacks; and
  • 9.3% of non-Hispanic whites.

David Dexter, communications coordinator at the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, attributed the disparities to the large number of undocumented Latinos who are ineligible for Medi-Cal or plans through Covered California.

Findings on Care Delays

The survey also found that Californians continued to delay care because of costs or lack of insurance, but at a lower rate than before. About 51% of respondents said they had delayed care in 2014, compared with 55% in 2013.

Latinos were the most likely to report they had delayed care, at 59%, followed by non-Hispanic whites, at 49%. About 39% of Asians and 38% of blacks reported delaying care in 2014.

Further, about 9% of Californians said they delayed obtaining or had forgone medication in 2014, compared with 10% in 2013 (Feder Ostrov, Kaiser Health News, 8/19).

More on California Healthline.

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