State Would Have Fewer Insured if Individual Mandate Is Revoked
If the federal health reform law's individual mandate is ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, an additional one million or more California residents could end up lacking health insurance coverage, according to a study from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, Payers & Providers reports (Payers & Providers, 1/26).
The study was conducted using the California Simulation of Insurance Markets model, which includes a variety of demographic data (UCLA Center for Health Policy Research release, 1/20).
The UCLA center conducted the study in conjunction with the UC-Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, and it was funded by the California Endowment.
The study was included in an amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court in support of the health reform law (Payers & Providers, 1/26).
According to the study, 1.04 million fewerÂ California residents would gain coverage under the health reform lawÂ by 2019Â if the individual mandate is struck down.
Specifically, the study found that with the individual mandate in place, the number of uninsured residentsÂ -- excluding undocumented Californians -- would drop from 4.63 million to 2.72 million by 2019, a decline of 1.91 million uninsured individuals.
Without the individual mandate, the number of uninsured residentsÂ -- excluding undocumented Californians -- would drop from 4.63 million to 3.76 million by 2019, a decrease of 870,000 uninsured individuals (UCLA Center for Health Policy Research release, 1/20).
The study noted that absent the individual mandate, millions of California residents could opt not to obtain insurance until they experience health problems.
This scenario could lead to higher premium costs because payers would encounter more difficulty spreading risk, according to the study (Payers & Providers, 1/26).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.