SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee hailed today’s U.S. Census Report, which showed a significant decline in California’s uninsured rate.
The report showed California’s uninsured rate dropped to 12.4 percent in 2014, down from 17.2 percent in 2013. The reduction drop is the fifth largest decline among all states.
“Up until now we’ve relied on surveys and reports from foundations and other groups to understand the impact of the Affordable Care Act,” said Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee. “The Census figures are the gold standard and what the numbers show is that California is having one of the largest impacts in the nation on reducing the rate of the uninsured.”
The Census report comes on the heels of a Field Poll where 68 percent of registered voters stated that California had been successful in implementing the new law.
“This is yet another confirmation that California is making the Affordable Care Act work,” Lee said, “Whether the Affordable Care Act is working should no longer be the subject of debate, rather we are seeing the new reality of health care in California and America.”
Lee pointed to the fact that California has embraced the Affordable Care Act, including expanding Medi-Cal and establishing a health exchange that has all the tools available to provide coverage and care to millions. Despite this important progress, California still has millions of people who are eligible for health insurance through either Covered California or Medi-Cal.
“We cannot rest on our laurels. You don’t change overnight from a culture of coping, where people think they can’t afford coverage and make do without care, to a culture of coverage.”
The full Census report can be viewed here: http://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2015/demo/p60-253.pdf
Open enrollment for coverage starting Jan. 1, 2016, is scheduled to begin Nov. 1, 2015. Special enrollment for health coverage continues year round for individuals who have a change in life circumstances, such as moving, having a baby or turning 26. Medi-Cal enrollment also continues year-round.
About Covered California
Covered California is the state’s marketplace for the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Covered California, in partnership with the California Department of Health Care Services, was charged with creating a new health insurance marketplace in which individuals and small businesses can get access to affordable health insurance plans. Covered California helps individuals determine whether they are eligible for premium assistance that is available on a sliding-scale basis to reduce insurance costs or whether they are eligible for low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal. Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Small businesses can purchase competitively priced health insurance plans and offer their employees the ability to choose from an array of plans and may qualify for federal tax credits.
Covered California is an independent part of the state government whose job is to make the new market work for California’s consumers. It is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the Governor and the Legislature. For more information about Covered California, please visit www.CoveredCA.com.