UCLA Releases Reports on Health Care Reform

 

The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research has released two excellent May 2011 reports forecasting the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on health care enrollment and coverage in California.   UCLA estimates that up to 4.57 million Californians uninsured or underinsured in 2009 will be eligible in 2014, including 2.13 million who will be eligible for Medi-Cal, 1.71 million other uninsured persons who will qualify for subsidized coverage (as a function of modified, adjusted gross income) through the California Health Benefits Exchange, and 737,000 persons with individual health policies who may chose to obtain such coverage through the Exchange.   The researchers offer useful statistical profiles of these groups based on survey findings.  UCLA demonstrates the importance of seamless integration of Medi-Cal and Exchange income eligibility systems, as many of these individuals are low to moderate income working persons aged 18-44 whose incomes change as they move between one or more jobs without employer-based coverage.  UCLA aptly notes the complexity of accurately forecasting the impact of expanded coverage on California’s overall health expenditures after January 1, 2014, as most of these individuals are healthy persons who infrequently use health care services anyway; others are served by California’s safety net hospitals, shifting the costs of care to other payers; some are being enrolled now under the county-based Low-Income Health Program (LIHP) in California’s “Bridge to Reform” demonstration waiver, approved by CMS in 2010, through which pent-up demand for primary and preventive care as well as specialty services may be mediated; and many will face mandatory premium contributions, deductibles and other cost-sharing charges under the ACA after January 1, 2014.   The reports are available through www.healthpolicy.ucla.edu.
       

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Categories:Health and Human Services

 

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