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Health Uninsurance Rate At Record Low Again

With the open enrollment period for Covered California underway, the number of residents without health insurance dropped to a record low in 2017. That’s the second straight year that’s happened, according to the latest report from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. The report’s lead author, Tara Becker, says the uninsured rate was eight-and-a-half percent last year, for those under age 65. That’s down from 15-and-a-half percent in 2013, before the full expansion of the Affordable Care Act. But she’s not sure the decline will continue…

click to listen to Tara Becker

Becker is referring to the ongoing uncertainty about the health care cost structure between Congress and the Trump Administration. But even though fewer people are uninsured, she says cost savings have mostly benefitted low-income residents…

click to listen to Tara Becker

But Becker says federal policy changes, such as the elimination of the individual mandate, which is scheduled to go into effect in January, are carving away at the Affordable Care Act’s protections. Meanwhile, the percentage of adults insured by Medi-Cal, the program for low-income and disabled adults, actually dropped four points last year to 29-percent.

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