CHA News Article

Report Outlines ACA’s Effect on California Insurance Market

The California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) has released a report that provides a snapshot of the insurance market in California at the end of 2013, just before the major provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) took effect. It also includes initial figures from 2014 that point to large shifts in both Medi-Cal and individual coverage levels.

Data from the Department of Managed Health Care, the Department of Insurance and other sources were used to examine market share, enrollment, financial performance, premiums, public coverage and consumer satisfaction.

Key report findings include:

  • California’s health insurers provide both commercial and public coverage, with six carriers accounting for more than three-fourths of all revenues and most insurers operating in the black.  More than two-thirds of Californians were covered through these insurers, including 52 percent with employer-based or other private insurance and 21 percent with Medicare or Medi-Cal managed care plans.
  • In 2013, enrollment shifts were small, except in the pre-ACA individual market.
  • State and federal policy actions brought significant growth to Medi-Cal managed care — about 2.8 million enrollees, a 58 percent increase in the 18 months ending in June 2014.
  • Covered California enrolled 1.4 million individuals in health insurance plans through 11 carriers in the first enrollment period ending March 31, 2014.
  • Product choice differed by market, with only 20 percent of individuals enrolled in HMOs and 79 percent of large group enrollees in HMOs in 2013. This could change for subsequent years, as the ACA implements sliding-scale premium subsidies and mandates freedom for individual enrollees to choose their product and insurer.

The complete report and a quick reference guide and database with 2014 enrollment data are available on the CHCF website.