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As national uninsured rate rises, California’s rate remains low

Only 8.1% of Californians were uninsured in 2018, a decrease from previous years, according to the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. The decrease in California comes despite an increase in the national uninsurance rate. (Daily Bruin file photo)

By Julia Shapero

Oct. 28, 2019 11:54 p.m.

The number of uninsured Californians remained low in 2018, despite national increases, according to a UCLA study.

Just 8.1% of Californians were uninsured in 2018, compared to 15.5% in 2013, according to a policy brief from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

The California Health Interview Survey, which is conducted by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, recently released its 2018 data on a range of topics, including insurance coverage, mental health, oral health, health status and behaviors.

The CHIS is the nation’s largest state health survey, with the 2018 installment including responses from 23,195 participants, according to a press release from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

Following the full implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2014, the number of Americans without health insurance decreased, according to the policy brief. However, the national uninsured rate increased in 2018 due to changes in health policy, such as a reduced enrollment period.

Despite this, California’s uninsured rate remained low due to a stronger economy and efforts by the state to limit the impacts of policy changes on the private purchase market, according to the policy brief.

Coverage across racial and ethnic groups also remained fairly stable, according to the press release. Coverage for Latino Californians increased with the passage of the Health for All Kids Act in 2016 which expanded Medicaid coverage to undocumented children.

However, Latino Californians still had the highest rate of uninsurance at 11.5% in 2018, while non-Latino white Californians had an uninsurance rate of 4.7%.

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Julia Shapero | Assistant News editor
Shapero is a senior staff News reporter. She was previously an assistant News editor in the National News & Higher Education beat. Shapero is a fourth-year political science student who enjoys covering national and statewide news.
Shapero is a senior staff News reporter. She was previously an assistant News editor in the National News & Higher Education beat. Shapero is a fourth-year political science student who enjoys covering national and statewide news.
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