Study: State healthcare gains will fade without increased effort

doctor with woman and child

Roughly 12 percent of Californians could be without health insurance by 2020 if California fails to enact a new state healthcare mandate, expand coverage to low-income Californians or use government money to make healthcare more affordable, according to a new study from UC Berkeley’s Labor Center. 

The report, “California’s Health Coverage Gains to Erode without Further State Action,” was released Tuesday. It used models to anticipate how many Californians will fail to have adequate health coverage as the Trump administration declines to enforce a rule mandating individuals be covered by health insurance.

“Unless the state takes action, we could see 500,000 to 800,000 more Californians become uninsured as a result of the individual mandate penalty going away,” said lead report author Miranda Dietz, a UC Berkeley Labor Center research and policy associate. “Policies supporting broader enrollment matter even more now.”

After implementing the Affordable Care Act, California saw the number of non-elderly Californians without health insurance fall from 18 percent in 2012 to 10 percent in 2016. Today, 10 percent — 3.55 million Californians under the age of 65 — still lack insurance. But without state action the number of uninsured Californians could grow to approximately 4 million people (12 percent of Californians) in 2020 and 4.4 million people (13 percent) in 2023. 

Read the complete report from UC Berkeley's Labor Center