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.
Health Care Costs
The Labor Center’s research on health care costs analyzes the affordability of coverage and care for Californians enrolled in job-based coverage or Covered California, underlying health care cost trends, and the impact of potential solutions to control health care costs and improve affordability for California’s working families. This research includes a recent blog series Rising Health Care Costs in California: A Worker Issue.
Research & Publications
The Threat to Coverage and Affordability Gains in Covered California if Congress Fails to Renew Subsidy Enhancements
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress enacted the American Rescue Plan of 2021 to provide additional temporary financial help for buying health insurance through the ACA Marketplaces. If these enhanced subsidies are not extended for 2023 and beyond, we project 220,000 fewer Californians would have individual market insurance in 2023 than if enhanced subsidies are extended, and premiums would be less affordable for more than two million individual market enrollees.
RELEASE: Health coverage for nearly 1M Californians will be affected by Medi-Cal expansion and federal subsidies extension
Two reports released today project how the expansion of Medi-Cal eligibility to all low-income adults regardless of immigration status and the discontinuation of enhanced federal subsidies in Covered California would affect health coverage for nearly one million Californians
Proposed Office of Health Care Affordability: An important step towards addressing the health care cost problem for California workers
This blog post focuses on one policy idea currently being considered by state policymakers to address rising health care costs – creating an Office of Health Care Affordability.
Even after the American Rescue Plan (ARP) substantially increases premium subsidies for health insurance coverage purchased through Covered California, large inequities remain in who has access to affordable coverage. Nearly 3.2 million Californians will remain uninsured in 2022, or about 9.5% of the population age 0-64, according to our projections. The highest uninsured rates will be among undocumented Californians (65%) and those eligible only for insurance through Covered California (28%).
VIDEO: California Assembly Committee on Health Care Affordability: How to Control Costs in California
Testimony from Assembly hearing on California’s current health care system.
This is the eighth post in the Labor Center’s blog series “Rising Health Care Costs in California: A Worker Issue.”
Increases in health care costs are coming out of workers’ pockets one way or another: The tradeoff between employer premium contributions and wages
This is the seventh post in the Labor Center’s blog series “Rising Health Care Costs in California: A Worker Issue.”
High out-of-pocket costs contribute to poor access to care and financial hardships for California workers
This is the sixth post in the Labor Center’s blog series “Rising Health Care Costs in California: A Worker Issue.” In our last post, we explored the challenges associated with…
This is the fifth post in the Labor Center’s blog series “Rising Health Care Costs in California: A Worker Issue.” As described in the last blog post, premiums for job-based…
This is the fourth post in the Labor Center’s blog series “Rising Health Care Costs in California: A Worker Issue.” Over the last ten years, the cost of job-based health…
Job-based coverage is less common among workers who are Black or Latino, low-wage, immigrants, and young adults
This is the third post in the Labor Center’s blog series “Rising Health Care Costs in California: A Worker Issue.” Job-based coverage remains the most common form of health coverage…
California’s Steps to Expand Health Coverage and Improve Affordability: Who Gains and Who Will Be Uninsured?
In 2019, state lawmakers took steps to protect California’s coverage gains and increase affordability of coverage by instituting a state individual mandate penalty, providing additional subsidies for Covered California’s individual market enrollees, and expanding Medi-Cal to low-income undocumented young adults. California is the first state to include undocumented adults in full Medicaid benefits and the first to provide subsidies to middle-class consumers not eligible under the ACA.
This is the second post in the Labor Center’s blog series “Rising Health Care Costs in California: A Worker Issue.” While our blog series will primarily focus on Californians with…
New blog post series on the problem of rising health care costs for California families with job-based coverage
This is the first post in the Labor Center’s blog series “Rising Health Care Costs in California: A Worker Issue.” California workers with job-based health coverage are feeling the pain…
Instead of cost containment, the most likely outcome of the excise tax is that workers will bear the brunt of this tax through increased copays and deductibles.
3.6 Million Californians Would Benefit if California Takes Bold Action to Expand Coverage and Improve Affordability
Many California policymakers have expressed a desire and commitment to resist federal sabotage of the ACA, control health care costs, and achieve universal health care coverage. As the state explores ways to fundamentally redesign our health care delivery system—including by adopting a single payer or other unified public financing approach—state policymakers are also considering near-term policies that do not require federal approval but address the immediate challenges of improving affordability and expanding coverage.
RELEASE: 3.6 Million Californians to Benefit if State Takes Bold Action to Expand Coverage and Improve Affordability
California made historic gains in health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but several million Californians remain uninsured and many struggle to afford individual market insurance.
We project that between 150,000 and 450,000 more Californians will be uninsured in 2020, growing to between 490,000 and 790,000 more uninsured in 2023, compared to the projected number if the ACA penalty had been maintained.
Towards Universal Health Coverage: California Policy Options for Improving Individual Market Affordability and Enrollment
In this report, we focus specifically on the affordability challenges for the 2.3 million Californians who purchase private insurance individually and for many of the 1.2 million Californians who are eligible to purchase insurance through Covered California but remain uninsured.