California has the opportunity to expand Medi-Cal to all low-income Californians, regardless of immigration status or age. This policy would result in a massive increase in coverage, bringing close to 700,000 undocumented Californians into coverage and reducing the uninsured rate for residents under 65 to just 7.1%, the biggest single improvement since implementation of the ACA.
Immigrants & Health
The Labor Center’s health care research has a focus on health care access for California immigrant families. Our research has shown that undocumented Californians make up the largest group of uninsured in the state. We have examined proposals to expand Medi-Cal to all low-income Californians regardless of immigration status and analyzed county programs that provide access to care for all. We have analyzed the impacts of the public charge rule on Californians’ health and hunger and the state economy. We have also examined the health care access needs and challenges for Californians with DACA.
Research & Publications
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
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%).
Part of the Labor Center’s Covid-19 Series: Resources, Data, and Analysis for California. In the coming weeks and months, the Labor Center will continually review and update this post with information on new COVID-19 legislation, regulations, analysis, and tools.
Part of the Labor Center’s Covid-19 Series: Resources, Data, and Analysis for California. In the coming weeks and months, the Labor Center will continually review and update this resource list with information on new COVID-19 legislation, regulations, analysis, and tools.
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.
543,000 Californians ages 0-64 were estimated to be eligible for Medi-Cal but uninsured in 2016-2017, most of whom were adults (79% were over age 18). Why are some Californians uninsured in spite of their Medi-Cal eligibility?
Expanding Medi-Cal to all adults would reduce the number of uninsured in the state by up to one-quarter, potentially newly insuring more than one million Californians. This expansion could improve access to preventive and routine care and improve financial security for those who enroll, in addition to potentially improving worker productivity for those who become newly insured.
Authors of the fact sheet report changes to “public charge” rules proposed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security could lead to losses of up to $1.67 billion in federal benefits for California and even greater economic losses across the state.
A new study by researchers at UC Berkeley and UCLA projects how changes to federal law that remove the Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual mandate penalty in 2019 could significantly impact California’s record-breaking health coverage gains.
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.
In this report, we present data for the state of California on the union advantage in wages and employer-sponsored health and retirement benefits for women, workers of color, and immigrants.
RELEASE: Unions raise wages and increase benefits for women, workers of color, and immigrants in California
A new study from UC Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education (Labor Center) shows that workers in California have higher wages and greater access to benefits when covered by a union contract, and those workers who earn the least in non-union workplaces—women, people of color, and immigrants—gain the most.
Providing Health Care to Undocumented Residents: Program details and lessons learned from three California county health programs
This report profiles three county programs that offer health care services to undocumented residents and aims to serve as a resource for designing and implementing similar programs elsewhere across the nation.
Preliminary Regional Remaining Uninsured 2017 Data Book, California Simulation of Insurance Markets (CalSIM) version 2.0
This data book provides estimates of the remaining uninsured in California in 2017 by Covered California rating region and for large counties using a preliminary version of the California Simulation of Insurance Markets (CalSIM) model v 2.0.
Berkeley Blog post. To maximize health coverage among those with DACA and DAPA in California, it will be important to improve awareness of this Medi-Cal eligibility policy and provide assistance to Californians in signing up for DACA and DAPA and in enrolling in Medi-Cal.
Hundreds of Thousands of Californians could Gain Health Insurance if Supreme Court Upholds Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration
In California, the Supreme Court’s decision would not only clear the way for improved work opportunities and wages, reductions in child poverty, and greater peace of mind for families, but it also would expand access to comprehensive health insurance for many.
This brief examines the characteristics of the uninsured and the reasons for remaining uninsured among the undocumented who are ineligible for coverage under the ACA due to their immigration status, and the citizens and lawfully present immigrants who are eligible for coverage but did not enroll.
Chapter from Daniel J.B. Mitchell (editor), California Policy Options 2016, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. Discusses the health insurance status, Medi-Cal eligibility, and demographics of California immigrants eligible for the original and the expanded DACA programs and for DAPA.