Share On Social!
Two-thirds of previously uninsured California adults now have health coverage after the second enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and eligible Latinos are signing up at rates similar to whites, according to a new survey.
The survey, conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, followed the experiences of a random sampling of Californians who were uninsured prior to the implementation of the ACA.
The 68% of Californians who were recently insured by the ACA were less likely to report difficulties in affording health care and paying medical bills, and more likely to report that their health needs are being met—although many still report problems paying for and accessing care, according to the survey.
“Like health insurance generally, their coverage is not a cure-all and they still face problems paying for and getting care, but they are far better off than they were before,” said Drew Altman, president and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation.
For example, the number who initially reported the difficulty in affording healthcare dramatically fell to 49% from 86% in 2013. When asked how well health needs were being met, 86% of the recently insured say that their needs are “well met” or “somewhat well met,” up from 51% from 2013.
Among those surveyed that recently obtained health insurance, nearly half (49%) said that affording health coverage is difficult; this, however, ranks fourth on the list of difficult expenses behind housing (58%), utilities (54%), and gas (53%).
However, the survey also found no change in the ability to access the ACA by those who remain uninsured.
Of this population, 41% is now made up of those who are ineligible due to immigration status.
“Two years in, the group that remains uninsured includes many undocumented immigrants and long-term uninsured residents,” said Mollyann Brodie of the Kaiser Family Foundation.