Rate of Uninsured CSU Students Drops by 60%, Survey Finds
The rate of uninsured students on California State University campuses decreased by 60% after the launch of an Affordable Care Act outreach and enrollment assistance campaign, according to a survey by the CSU Health Insurance Education Project, Los Angeles Times' "L.A. Now" reports.
Background on Outreach Campaign
The university system received grant from Covered California, the state's health insurance exchange, to establish and implement the CSU Health Insurance Education Project (Karlamangla, "L.A. Now," Los Angeles Times, 6/12).
Covered California spokesperson Anne Gonzalez said the $1.25 million grant is one of the agency's largest and is part of a larger effort to enroll young people in coverage through the exchange.
The enrollment project, which started in August 2013, aimed to reach about 100,000 uninsured students across 15 campuses (Aguilera, "KPCC News," KPCC, 6/12).
Before the Affordable Care Act took effect, between 25% and 30% of CSU students were uninsured ("L.A. Now," Los Angeles Times, 6/12).
The new survey found that 10% of students -- or 447,000 -- now are uninsured.
According to the survey, 60,000 previously uninsured students gained insurance through Covered California, Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program, or another insurance program.
Forty-five percent of students who signed up for coverage said they did so because it became more affordable, according to the survey.
Meanwhile, the survey found that:
- 14% of students reported signing up for coverage through Covered California;
- 12% reported enrolling in Medi-Cal; and
- 8% said they signed up for Covered California or Medi-Cal but are awaiting approval.
- The rate of uninsured Latinos at CSU decreased from 42% to 13%;
- The rate of uninsured women at CSU decreased from 32% to 9%;
- Cal State L.A. still has the highest rate of uninsured students at 19%; and
- San Jose, Northridge and Fresno campuses have the lowest rates of uninsured students ("KPCC," KPCC News, 6/12).
Walter Zelman, director of the project and chair of the Cal State L.A. Public Health Department, said that he believes a 10% uninsured rate among students is "virtually unheard of in California," adding, "The issue is not invincibility, its affordability."
He added, "The surprise here may be that students are not the hardest groups to enroll, they may be the easiest" ("L.A. Now," Los Angeles Times, 6/12).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.