Two new studies describe likely beneficiaries of health care reform in California
According to two new policy briefs from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, the majority of state residents likely to be eligible for federally mandated health insurance coverage initiatives in California in 2014 are also those who may be least likely to excessively use costly health services: men, singles and those of working age.
As a result of last year's passage of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), up to 4.57 million previously uninsured or underinsured Californians may be eligible for coverage, either through an expansion of the Medi-Cal program or through the new California Health Benefit Exchange, according to the policy briefs.
In the case of Medi-Cal, the state's health care program for low-income Californians, approximately 2.13 million Californians up to age 64 may become eligible for the program as a result of the ACA, according to the policy brief "Californians Newly Eligible for Medi-Cal Under Health Care Reform."
An additional 1.71 million uninsured residents and 737,000 people with individual policies are likely to be eligible for coverage through the Health Benefit Exchange, a newly established marketplace for health care plans with subsidies for lower-income Californians, according to the policy brief "Who Can Participate in the California Health Benefit Exchange?".
Expanding coverage to such a large population will increase systemwide health spending. However, findings from the center's study suggest that these newly eligible Californians are largely single, male and/or of working age and thus are less likely to utilize high-cost health services.
"Costs will go up but may also be mitigated by the relative youth and health of the eligible population," said Nadereh Pourat, lead author of the two new briefs, which were funded by the nonprofit California HealthCare Foundation. "And by bringing so many young Californians into the system, we may even reduce risk systemwide."
Using the latest data from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), center researchers found that a significant percentage of those newly eligible for both the exchange program and the Medi-Cal expansion were single, male and/or between the ages of 18 and 44. Specifically:
The newly eligible are of working age:
Health Benefit Exchange:
56 percent of those currently without any insurance, 55 percent of those with intermittent insurance and 48 percent of the individually insured were between the ages of 18 and 44.
66 percent of those without any insurance and 70 percent of those with intermittent insurance were between the ages of 18 and 44.
Many newly eligible are male:
Health Benefit Exchange:
Many of those uninsured all of the year (61 percent), uninsured part of the year (53 percent) and the individually insured (49 percent) were male.
More than half of those uninsured all year (59 percent) and uninsured part of the year (52 percent) were male.
The newly eligible are largely healthy
The study found that those eligible for coverage through both the exchange and the Medi-Cal expansion tended to be as healthy as those with employer-based coverage or those already covered by Medi-Cal. For example, among the newly eligible:
Health Benefit Exchange:
Diabetes rates were only 6 percent for both those without any insurance throughout the year and the individually insured. Heart disease rates were 2 percent for those with no coverage or intermittent coverage and 1 percent for the individually insured. Asthma rates were also low, and these rates were comparable to those with employer-based coverage.
The diabetes rate among those without insurance throughout the year was 5 percent and was 11 percent for those with intermittent coverage. The heart disease rate for both groups was similar and low, at 3 percent. These rates were comparable to those enrolled in the Medi-Cal program under current eligibility criteria.
"This is California's workforce," Pourat said. "Younger, relatively healthy and, in many cases, male, they have been blocked from access to insurance by high costs and deductibles. Health care reform is now giving them a way into the system."
The study looked at a range of characteristics for both newly eligible populations, including employment status, access to care and race/ethnicity. It found in both groups that a lack of insurance was clearly linked with poor access to care and that even those with individual policies experienced more problems accessing medical care and getting needed prescription medications than Californians with employer-based coverage.
"The data show that there is a yawning divide between those who get insurance through an employer and the rest of the state," Pourat said. "Health care reform will help level the playing field."
Provided by University of California - Los Angeles
- 4.7 million Californians to gain coverage under health reform, new study estimates Feb 15, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- 5.7 million Californians lack access to job-based coverage Nov 30, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Number of uninsured in California counties grew during recession Aug 23, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- California healthcare shoratge detailed in new report Oct 29, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- 3 million Californians use health plans with high out-of-pocket costs Oct 28, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
(HealthDay)—Implementation of systematic monitoring for medication adherence will allow for identification of barriers to adherence and tailoring of interventions, according to a viewpoint piece published ...
Health 5 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(AP)—The Obama administration says more doctors and hospitals are embracing technology as adoption of computerized medical records reaches a "tipping point" in America.
Health 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
Johns Hopkins researchers report that hospitals may be reaping enormous income for patients whose hospital stays are complicated by preventable bloodstream infections contracted in their intensive care units.
Health 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
A University of Illinois researcher says that the cornerstone of our efforts to alleviate food insecurity should be to encourage more people to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) "because ...
Health 2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A new study suggests that disturbed sleep in adolescents is associated with more symptoms of depression and greater uncertainly about future success. However, perceived support and acceptance from parents and teachers appears ...
Health 3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Every day, their baby stopped breathing, his collapsed bronchus blocking the crucial flow of air to his lungs. April and Bryan Gionfriddo watched helplessly, just praying that somehow the dire predictions weren't true.
35 minutes ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
A new study shows there is a gender gap when it comes to behavior and self-control in American young children – one that does not appear to exist in children in Asia.
39 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
As the world prepares for what may be the next pandemic strain of influenza virus, in the H7N9 bird flu, a new UC Irvine study reveals that the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic was deadliest for people under the age of 65, while ...
35 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—The American Cancer Society, which is celebrating on Wednesday a century of fighting a disease once viewed as a death sentence, is making a pledge to put itself out of business.
5 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) investigators also conclude that the 20 percent reduction in lung cancer mortality with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) versus chest X-ray (CXR) screening previously reported in the ...
31 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—Migraines and depression can each cause a great deal of suffering, but new research indicates the combination of the two may be linked to something else entirely—a smaller brain.
1 hour ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |