Smokers in California won’t be charged more for health care because of their habit. And people getting other kinds of public assistance will have a streamlined way to enroll in Medi-Cal.
Anthony Wright of the consumer advocacy group Health Access says there are reasons why California has been implementing the federal law so vigorously.
“Californians are more likely to be uninsured, more likely to not get coverage on the job, more likely to have to buy coverage, and more likely as individuals to be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions than residents of all other states,” says Wright.
Recent legal immigrants in the U.S. for less than five years will be part of the Medicaid expansion in California. Also, people buying their own insurance in the Golden State will continue to have the option to claim domestic partners as spouses.
“California has been a leader in maximizing the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, to not just implement it but to improve upon it,” says Wright.
Insurance rates for Covered California insurance plans were supposed to be released this month, but officials are holding off until August due to continued uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act.
California could face an additional $30 billion annually in health costs a decade from now under the Senate Republican health care plan, according to an analysis released Wednesday by the Brown Administration.
Medi-Cal and Covered California will continue operating as usual now that the House Republic bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act has been pulled.
President Donald Trump and his administration want to turn Medicaid into a block grant program, which policy analysts say could put more burden on states to cover costs -- and lead to coverage cuts in California.
A legislative effort to expand Medi-Cal to undocumented adults in California fell short earlier this year. But more counties are stepping in where the state leaves off.