State News
KFF Studies Uninsured Californians
By Alex Nochez
Oct 1, 2013 - 11:11:34 PM

CALIFORNIA—The Kaiser Family Foundation announced the beginning of a two year, state-wide study that would examine the effects that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would have on Californians.

The Kaiser Family Foundation


The study, revealed on Thursday, September 26, uses 2,000 people from across the state between the ages of 19 and 64 who have been without health insurance for at least two months.


According to the Foundation's website, these 2,000, known as the “eligible uninsured” in the study, are divided into four categories: those with incomes of less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level who can qualify for Medi-Cal; those with incomes between 138 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level who can purchase health insurance using government subsidies; those who sit 400 percent above the federal poverty who can purchase health insurance but do not qualify for subsidies; and those who cannot purchase health insurance due to their immigration status or the undocumented.


A key highlight of the study is the amount of people within this group who know very little of the ACA. According to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, roughly 5.5 million people are without health insurance in the state. In the “Medi-Cal target group,” which is comprised of about 3 million people, 77 percent had little information as to the benefits that pertain to them.


In the “target subsidies group,” made up of roughly 2 million, that number rises to about 80 percent. When it comes to believing whether or not they can qualify, 75 percent of the subsidies group do not, while 47 percent of the Medi-Cal group assumed the same.


About 80 percent of the eligible uninsured would like to have health insurance, with 72 percent of those within the 19-25 age group agreeing. When it comes specifically to the Medi-Cal target group, 89 percent admit that they would enroll in Medi-Cal provided they qualify.


Adding to that is the figure of 48 percent which represents the amount of eligible uninsured in California who view the ACA positively; a sharp distinction of the 36 percent of Americans in the same age range who also find the program favorable.


When it comes to those who do not qualify for any health insurance based on their immigration status, 49 percent believe that they do qualify for Medi-Cal while 43 percent believe that they will be able to shop around for health insurance in the marketplace.


The Kaiser Family Foundation states in their study that they plan on beginning the second wave of their plan with this group in March 2014, when the open enrollment for the ACA concludes.

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