The ACA covered millions of people and reduced the racial and ethnic disparities in health coverage in California; to take away these coverage options especially during a global pandemic and recession would exacerbate racial and ethnic inequality in California.
The ACA expanded coverage options available to low-income Californians and unemployed workers; to take away those options during a global pandemic and recession would compound the hardships faced by low-income households.
Many California workers are at risk of losing their job-based health coverage when they lose their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this data brief, we examine which types of health insurance, if any, the workers most at risk of job loss had prior to this crisis. We use this analysis to inform our estimate that for every 100,000 California workers losing their jobs due to the pandemic, up to 67,000 workers, spouses, and children are at risk of losing job-based coverage.
A Little Investment Goes a Long Way: Modest Cost to Expand Preventive and Routine Health Services to All Low-Income Californians
The California legislature is considering a proposal (Senate Bill 1005, the Health for All Act) that would expand Medi-Cal coverage to include primary and preventive care, prescription drugs, mental health care, dental care, and other routine health services for all low-income California residents regardless of immigration status. This brief finds that the proposed Medi-Cal expansion would involve new state spending, but the cost is modest in comparison to the impact on health and coverage, and the policy also produces savings.
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.