Many residents who enrolled in health plans through California's health insurance exchange likely will later drop that coverage because they have found insurance elsewhere, according to a new analysis released Wednesday by the UC-Berkeley Labor Center, KQED's "State of Health" reports (Aliferis, "State of Health, " KQED, 4/2).
"Churning" refers to the process of individuals losing and regaining coverage in a short period of time as their eligibility changes (Wayt, California Healthline, 7/31/13).
Covered California Estimates
The analysis estimates that:
- 20% of Covered California enrollees will leave the exchange because they will become employed at an organization that offers health coverage;
- 20% will leave the exchange because their incomes will drop and they will become eligible for Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program; and
- 2% to 8% will become uninsured.
According to the analysis, 53% to 58% of Covered California enrollees will keep their selected plan for one year.
In any given 3-month period, 10% of enrollees can be expected to drop their Covered California health plans, according to Ken Jacobs, chair of the UC-Berkeley Labor Center and author of the report.
Meanwhile, the analysis predicted that of the individuals who qualified for Medi-Cal this year:
- 75% will remain in the program for a one-year period;
- 16% will become eligible for Covered California because their incomes will increase; and
- 10% will become employed at a job that offers health insurance.
Prior to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, just 55% of Medi-Cal beneficiaries remained in the program for a full year, according to the analysis. The authors said that because of the ACA's more automated annual enrollment process, the Medi-Cal population is expected to remain more stable ("State of Health," KQED, 4/2).