New Research: How Health Reform Will Impact California

San Francisco, January 6, 2011 — New research concludes that California has a chance to make major progress in covering its uninsured residents under the Affordable Care Act, but there are key steps that state and federal leaders must take to make the most of the opportunity. 

The findings, published in the January issue of Health Affairs, includes specific estimates of how many Californians will benefit from new coverage opportunities when the law is fully implemented and highlights key policy decisions that will determine the extent of health coverage expansions and the financial impacts of the law. 

“No state has as much to gain from health reform as California, but we will need to work hard and work together to make good on its promise,” explains Blue Shield of California Foundation President and CEO Peter Long, who co-authored the article along with noted MIT Health Economist, Jon Gruber. 

“While California’s progress will be significant,” added Long, “many Californians will still be left behind and will need our continued attention and support.” 

Highlights from the research include:

An additional 3.4 million people in California will be insured in 2016 under the Affordable Care Act. This will mean that nearly 96 percent of documented residents of California under the age of sixty-five will be insured. 

Enrollment in the state’s Medicaid program is expected to increase by 1.7 million people, while 4 million people are expected to enroll in the state’s planned new health insurance exchange. 

Los Angeles will account for about half of California’s reduction in the uninsured population. San Diego will have the largest percentage reduction in those lacking insurance.

The article, The Impact On California Of The Affordable Care Act, was published in the January 2011 edition of Health Affairs