The non-profit health care organization Kaiser Family Foundation made a second annual survey in the state with the aim of finding out how many of its non-insured residents picked up some form of medical insurance after the Affordable Care Act (AFA) went into effect in 2014. The result showed that 68 per cent of non-insured Californians before 2014 now benefit from some degree of health insurance.
This result is not only gratifying for AFA supporter, but it also represent an increase over last year’s reading, which showed a 10 per cent lower statistic. This comes to demonstrate what some would call a long-running effect of the heavily contested act, which could bring the percentage of uninsured people in state down to a single digit.
For that to happen though, Obamacare would also need to rely on other areas working as intended. According to the study, out of the 32 per cent who still don’t have medical insurance, almost 40 per cent are immigrants who don’t have the necessary paperwork to apply for medical insurance in the first place.
The rest are mostly people who have shunned the notion of medical insurance for a long time, and will probably continue to do so no matter how attractive a deal they can get or would be very hard to convince them otherwise, thinks Bianca DiJulio of the Public Opinion and Survey Research Program foundation.
Most of the newly insured residents benefit from the California’s Medi-Cal program, with their number representing 34 per cent of the total figure. Medi-Cal is basically California’s version of Medicaid, which offers free or extremely low-cost medical insurance plans to families below 138 per cent of the federal poverty threshold and some special medical cases.
The survey also showed that the newly insured don’t regret their decision, with 86 per cent being at least content with the services they are being provided; this represents a significant growth from the 51 per cent which were satisfied in 2013.
However, UCLA’s Health Policy Research director Gerald Kominsky pointed one big flaw of the study – the fact that it only includes people who have never been insured before. He claims that there is also a significant part of California residents who have had health insurance in the past but dropped it, and some of them now remain uninsured.
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