(Go West) Where there is healthcare in the open air
So there is innocence and a new start in the West, after all.
If you believe the dream you dream when you go there.
Covered California is less and less just the name of the state’s health insurance marketplace and more and more a reality. A Kaiser Family Foundation survey says over two-thirds of 2,001 of Californian adults who were uninsured when Obamacare kicked in are now covered. “For people that didn’t have health insurance, California has been very successful in enrolling two-thirds of that group,” senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation Mollyann Brodie said. The majority (34%) are part of Californian’s Medicaid version – called Medi-Cal – while 14% have employer-sponsored insurance, and 12% bought insurance through the aforementioned Covered California. Even better, most are happy customers. Six and eighty percent report that their healthcare needs are ‘very well’ or ‘somewhat’ well met, compared to 51% in 2013. Overall, 76% of the people who gained coverage report positive experiences, contrasted with 28% who complained of having to wait for an appointment or having their insurance rejected by a doctor.
Moreover, only 49% say that paying for insurance is a problem than when they were not covered, as opposed to 86% in 2013. Paying for healthcare is a bigger financial concern than mortgage or rent for 85% of the uninsured in the survey – in fact, affordability is the reason 44% of people give for not purchasing coverage. Conversely, rent/mortgage, utilities and gasoline come before healthcare for the newly insured. “It's below the price of gas," Director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research Gerald Kominski said. "I found that truly remarkable ... the fact that health care for people newly insured (is) no longer a primary concern, I think is significant.” On the other hand, de Guia said the 5 percentage point gap found this year was concerning, since grants to community groups helping people sign up have decreased by millions of dollars. “Enrollment dollars are going down or being cut,” she said. “We don't want to see that gap widen over time.” senior vice president of the California Endowment Daniel Zingale said in a statement that “the survey results also demonstrate the work we still need to do, to make sure the remaining uninsured get the access they need to affordable, quality healthcare.”
All things considered, the 68% rate of newly insured is a 10% improvement over the first Affordable Care Act open enrollment last year. “This is really great news for California,” executive director of the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network Sarah de Guia said. “There's this sense of relief, that they're not one accident or incident away from bankruptcy. ... They can keep their costs contained.” Kominski agreed that the results of the survey were “obviously very good news,” but warned in an interview that “there's another cohort of Californians who are not in this survey — people who had insurance and lost it. Some portion of those individuals remain uninsured.” That portion is actually 32% of the people polled this year. The uninsured are either undocumented immigrants who do not quality for insurance (41%) or “people who are remaining uninsured have been uninsured for a long period of time and therefore may be harder to reach, a harder group to bring into the fold,” according to associate director with the foundation's Public Opinion and Survey Research Program Bianca DiJulio.