Health Care

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The Labor Center’s health care research aims to inform federal, state, and local policymaking to improve access to health coverage and make health care more affordable for workers and their families. Our research especially examines policy impacts for California low-income and immigrant working families and communities of color. Many of our publications include projections from the California Simulation of Insurance Markets (CalSIM) model, jointly developed with the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

Our factsheet for calculating Modified Adjusted Gross Income under the Affordable Care Act is available here.

Who is and isn’t insured, coverage affordability, job-based health coverage, the ACA, Covered CA, and Medi-Cal.

Affordability of coverage and care, underlying cost trends, and solutions.

Access to health coverage for immigrant families, undocumented Californians, and those with DACA.

California Simulation of Insurance Markets model projections, reports, and methodology.

Research & Publications

Laurel Lucia

Many California family child care providers will now be better able to afford health care

This blog post outlines the assistance offered by the recently-established Child Care Providers United California Workers Health Care Fund, summarizes recent findings from a David Binder Research/ California Health Care Foundation survey that underscore the need for this new health care investment for family child care providers, and discusses how the program will improve affordability for providers and benefit California as a whole.

Miranda Dietz, Tynan Challenorand Srikanth Kadiyala

Fact Sheet: Fixing the Family Glitch in California — Projections from the California Simulation of Insurance Markets

Proposed federal regulations would fix the family glitch by extending subsidies to spouses and children offered unaffordable family coverage through an employer. The employee would still be excluded from subsidies if their cost for single coverage through their employer was affordable. We use the California Simulations of Insurance Markets (CalSIM) model to project for 2023 how many people would fall into the family glitch in California, how many would be newly eligible for a positive dollar subsidy, and how many would enroll in Covered California with subsidies under the family glitch fix.

Miranda Dietzand Laurel Lucia

What’s at Stake for California Health Care Affordability in the Inflation Reduction Act?

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) currently being considered by Congress would improve health care affordability for many Californians by addressing high and rising drug prices and by extending the improved premium affordability assistance to Covered California enrollees that began in 2021. The extension of federal premium assistance would also unlock additional state-financed affordability help to reduce how much Covered California enrollees pay out-of-pocket when they access care.

Press Coverage

California Healthline

Many Families With Unaffordable Employer Coverage Now Eligible for Covered California Subsidies

Estimates from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the UC Berkeley Labor Center show that 391,000 Californians previously excluded from subsidies in Covered California would be eligible for them under the new rule. Of those, an estimated 149,000 would likely enroll in a Covered California plan. Those switching from an employer-sponsored plan would save an average of $1,478 per person in 2023, according to the two centers.

Los Angeles Times

Covered California open enrollment begins. What to know about signing up, subsidies and more

According to estimates by UCLA and UC Berkeley, Altman said, almost half a million Californians have employer-sponsored coverage that is less affordable than what they will be able to obtain now on Covered California. An additional 87,000 Californians who could be helped by the new rule are uninsured today, and about 35,000 have policies that aren’t currently subsidized.