3 Million Californians Will Be Uninsured in 2017, Report Estimates

Health reform has greatly expanded the number of Californians with insurance, but slightly more than 3 million residents will remain uninsured in 2017, according to a new report.

About 1.8 million people won’t qualify for state coverage because of their immigration status. They account for 59 percent of those who will remain uninsured next year.

Slightly less than a quarter of the uninsured will be eligible for state programs but not enroll, estimate the researchers, from the UCLA Center for Health Policy and the UC Berkeley Labor Center. California offers Medi-Cal for low-income residents and also has subsidized coverage through Covered California in an effort to make insurance more affordable.

The remaining 18 percent of residents who are projected to be uninsured next year will be eligible for Covered California but won’t qualify for subsidies.

Los Angeles County, the Inland Empire and the Central Valley are projected to have the highest numbers of uninsured residents. There will be 893,000 uninsured people in L.A. County alone, the report estimates.

The report, released this month, uses a simulation model, the California Simulation of Insurance Markets, to estimate the number of uninsured residents.

The researchers note that the numbers are only projections. “As with all projections, the numbers presented involve considerable uncertainty,” the report states. “They represent the current best estimates.”

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