Increasing Insurance Coverage2022-02-10T12:54:03-08:00

Access to coverage means early detection and longer lives

As a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the uninsured population in California has steadily decreased.

Uninsured – Point in Time

In 2009 (baseline year), 14.5% of Californians (adults, adolescents and children combined) reported not having health insurance at the time the survey was conducted. The most recent data available show 7.2% (2019). We hope to reach a target of 5.0% or lower by 2022.

More Data about Uninsured – Point in Time



Current Rate




Uninsured – Some Point in the Past Year

In 2009 (baseline year), 8.7% of Californians (adults, adolescents and children combined) had a gap in health insurance over the course of the previous year. The most recent data available show 3.0% (2019). We hope to reach a target of 3.0% or lower by 2022.

More Data about Uninsured – Some Point in the Past Year



Current Rate




Uninsured – For a Year or More

In 2009 (baseline year), 11.3% of Californians (adults, adolescents and children combined) were without health insurance for a year or more. The most recent data available show 5.7% (2019). We hope to reach a target of 4.0% or lower by 2022.

More Data about Uninsured – For a Year or More



Current Rate




Indicator Highlights

“It gave me an opportunity to live”

Diana Parret’s story – in which her life was saved shortly after enrolling in Covered CA and being diagnosed with uterine cancer. Diana Parret could feel that something was wrong with her health, but after losing her job, she was unable to afford health insurance. Upon enrolling with Covered California, Diana learned that she had cancer, and she was able to get surgery in time to prevent a crisis. She is debt free and finds affordable health care a “gift” that has given her the opportunity to continue living.

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First State Health Benefit Exchange

California was the first state in the nation to enact legislation creating a health benefit exchange (known as Covered California) under federal health care reform.

Over 3.4 million

Since Covered California opened its doors, more than 3.4 million consumers have used the marketplace to obtain insurance.2

Nearly 14 Million

Nearly 14 million people received coverage through Medi-Cal and almost all of those people are enrolled in Medi-Cal

managed care health plans.

It’s not just individuals who are sick or in need of health care who are signing up—rather, a group diverse in both age and health status are receiving care.

Health Services Research showed Covered California enrollees were healthier than anticipated, which meant less financial risk to health plans and lower premiums for enrollees, ultimately saving consumers tens of millions of dollars.

59% of Covered California enrollees had a check-up or preventative care visit by the Fall of 2014, which is nearly twice the rate of preventive visits among the uninsured.

Disparities & Trends

Since January 1, 2014, nearly five million Californians have been added to the Medi-Cal program, bringing total current enrollment to 13.4 million.

Notable increases in insurance coverage rates were found among people living below 138% of the Federal Poverty Guideline.

Fewer Californians currently cite “lack of affordability” as the main reason for going without health insurance.1

Some people are still uninsured

Of the state’s remaining uninsured, more than two-thirds were under 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.1

More than 40% of the remaining uninsured were Latino.1

Proportion of Respondents Who Report They Have Been Uninsured at Some Point in the Past Year, Over Time

Proportion of Respondents Who Report They Have Been Uninsured at Some Point in the Past Year, By Demographic Category


Indicator: Currently uninsured, Insured but had gap, and Uninsured a year or more

Indicator Description: Indicators are from UCLA’s California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) Public Use File (PUF) and consequently their exploratory dashboard, AskCHIS. “Currently uninsured”, and “Insured but had gap” assess whether persons are currently experiencing, or experienced interruption in health insurance at some point in the past 12 months (CHIS PUF Variable INSANY: currently uninsured, unins. any past 12 mo.). Uninsured a year or more assesses whether persons had no insurance the entire past year (CHIS PUF Variable: UNINSANY: uninsured entire past year). Currently uninsured and uninsured a year or more are available via AskCHIS (Currently Coverage: Currently insured, Past Coverage: Any time during past year without insurance, respectively).

Note: This indicator includes individuals over the age of 64 to better comply with the baseline and target in the original 2012 LGHC taskforce report. Uninsurance percentages will be lower than other reports that exclude this population as a result, as the 65+ year population almost all have Medicare. However, coverage is still not 100% as can be seen in the bar graph, due to citizenship status or other factors.

Data Limitations: Asked of California’s residential population (adults, teens, and children), administered in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. Does not include those living in group quarters or homeless persons.

Indicator Source: UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

Indicator Calculation Methodology: Indicator constructed from responses to multiple survey questions. More information about “constructed variables” is available from the CHIS FAQs, available at

Data Collection Methodology: Statewide telephone survey using a geographically stratified sample design. Estimates are weighted to Dept. of Finance demographic data (adjusted for group quarters population). More information is available at

Program URL Link:

1. California HealthCare Foundation. (n.d.). ACA 411: Explore The Data. Retrieved January 5, 2018, from

2. Covered California. (n.d.). California’s Health Benefit Exchange. Retrieved January 31, 2018 from Covered California:

Stories & Solutions

It’s a game changer to have access – Kimeko’s Story

Kimeko is thankful that she got enrolled in Covered California. She wasn’t feeling well and went to the doctor where they told her she could have a stroke any minute and admitted her to the hospital on the spot. Now she is getting the care she needs by the caring doctors and nurses at UCLA Medical Center at a cost she can afford. She is now happily pursuing her entrepreneurial dreams as a small business owner.

Watch the video »

Health Access LGBT Health and Human Services Network identified as an open enrollment best practice

The Health Access- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Health and Human Services (HHS) Network reached more than 1.2 million people. This success came from designing outreach activities and messaging to fit its varied target populations and addressing specific questions and concerns.

Large LGBT community events worked well in some areas, while private workshops and house parties were better in other parts of California. Outreach took place at LGBT-frequented churches, businesses and hangouts.

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