Calif.’s ACA Implementation Being Closely Watched Nationwide
California has been a leader in implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and the law's success or failure in the state could "have broad influence nationally," the AP/Sacramento Bee reports.
Details of ACA Implementation in Calif.
California was the first state to approve the creation of the online health insurance marketplace (Blood, AP/Sacramento Bee, 9/28).
Meanwhile, a state expansion of Medi-Cal under the ACA will allow individuals with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level, or $15,415 annually, to gain coverage (California Healthline, 9/20).
There are about seven million uninsured individuals living in California -- about 15% of the total uninsured population of the U.S.
Anthony Wright -- executive director for Health Access California -- said California "is where it needs to work," adding, "If we can make it here, we can make it work anywhere."
However, Howard Kahn -- CEO of L.A. Care Health Plan -- said that rollout of the law will be "a bit messy" and that consumers "are going to be confused" (AP/Sacramento Bee, 9/28).
'Guerrilla' Outreach Efforts Underway
Not-for-profit groups, labor unions, social services centers and other organizations are working on a one-on-one basis to inform uninsured residents about coverage available through the ACA, the Bee reports.
Covered California has awarded 50 outreach grants totaling $37 million. In addition, the California Endowment has provided $225 million for ACA outreach efforts, including $130 million for enrollment efforts aimed specifically at Latinos.
Daniel Zingale -- senior vice president at the California Endowment -- said the state is using "guerrilla" tactics to reach the uninsured.
The grassroots efforts are targeting locations where non-English speakers and underemployed individuals could congregate, such as homes, churches and clinics.
The exchange also plans to perform outreach activities at 7,300 events through December, including:
- Farmers markets;
- Street festivals; and
Carmella Gutierrez -- president of Californians for Patient Care -- said the efforts are "all about the human connection" (Cadelago, Sacramento Bee, 9/29).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.