The American Rescue Plan substantially increases premium subsidies for coverage purchased through health insurance exchanges like Covered California. We project that these subsidies will help over 1.6 million Californians, including 151,000 individual market enrollees who will qualify for subsidies for the first time and 135,000 uninsured people who will become insured.
Area of Expertise
Miranda Dietz (she/her) is a research and policy associate at the Labor Center and project director of the California Simulation of Insurance Markets microsimulation model (CalSIM). CalSIM, developed jointly with the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, models the impacts of various policies on health insurance coverage in California. Miranda’s research has focused on development of the model, estimates of the uninsured, and churn in and out of insurance coverage. Miranda has also written on local enforcement of labor standards, low-wage airport workers, and temporary workers in California. She is co-editor with Michael Reich and Ken Jacobs of When Mandates Work: Raising Labor Standards at the Local Level. Miranda received a Master of Public Policy degree from UC Berkeley in 2012, and a bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard University.
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%).
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.
California’s Health Coverage Gains under the Affordable Care Act: What’s at Stake in California v. Texas?
This fact sheet highlights the key health coverage gains made in California under the state’s robust implementation of the ACA since it was enacted over 10 years ago. These achievements show how much is at stake in California v. Texas, the case the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on November 10, 2020, under which the ACA could be overturned.
“Folks who are under age 26 who are low-income and undocumented can get full scope medical coverage through the state and this expands that to be 50 and above,” Dietz explained. “But, as you can imagine that still leaves a significant number of Californians ages 26 to 49 who are low-income and documented who are without insurance coverage.”
According to the UC Berkeley Labor Center, one in 10 low-income workers experiences wage theft in California. Violations range from getting paid below minimum wage to working off the clock or without overtime pay, resulting in thousands of dollars in lost compensation per worker.
A recent joint publication by the UC Berkeley Labor Center and UCLA Center for Health Policy Research projected the subsidies passed in the American Rescue Plan (ARP) will help over 1.6 million Californians. This number includes 151,000 individual market enrollees who will qualify for subsidies for the first time and 135,000 uninsured people who will become insured.