Summary of the Kaiser Family Foundation Survey of California’s Uninsured

August 11, 2015

The Kaiser Family Foundation has released a longitudinal survey of what has happened to California’s uninsured over a two-year period of ACA implementation. In 2013, 100% of those sampled were uninsured; in 2014 after the first open enrollment 58% were insured; and in 2015 after the second open enrollment 68% were insured.


Of the newly insured, about half went into Medi-Cal, a quarter into Covered California and a quarter into employment-based coverage. Among uninsured Hispanics, 60% were enrolled, 17% were eligible but not enrolled and 14% were undocumented and not eligible. Among non-Hispanic whites, 79% enrolled and 21% were eligible by remained uninsured.

62% of those enrolled in Covered California reported being helped, and 20% reported being hurt; for the remaining 17%, there was no impact. 43% of those enrolled in Medi-Cal reported being helped, and 8% reported being hurt; for the remaining 46%, there was no impact. 10% of those enrolled in employer-sponsored coverage reported being helped, and 21% reported being hurt; for the remaining 59%, there was no impact.


Most (63%) of the newly insured stayed with the same plan, while 17% changed to a different plan from 2014.

Most (62%) of the newly insured reported they were automatically re-enrolled and 35% reported having to take action to re-enroll.

Most said the costs were what they had expected or less; 20% reported that they were more than they expected, including 28% of those with Covered California and 31% of those with employment-based coverage.

76% said their experiences with their new plans were positive and 18% were negative. 80% of the newly insured had no problems getting a doctors; 16% experienced difficulties.

The remaining uninsured were 1/4th Medi-Cal eligible; 1/4th Covered California subsidy eligible, and 41% undocumented and ineligible. 1/4th of the remaining uninsured were between 26-34; 36% between 35 and 49, 1/4th 50-64, and 1/6th between 19 and 25.

Of the remaining uninsured, 2% were opposed to the ACA; 23% were not eligible, and 44% could not afford insurance. About 1/3rd have tried to enroll but were unsuccessful.


84% of the remaining uninsured knew about the mandate, but only ½ knew about the Medi-Cal expansion or financial assistance through Covered California.

Half of the remaining uninsured Hispanics were concerned about the impacts on their immigration status or those of family members if they enrolled.

1/4th enrolled by phone, 1/3rd in person, 1/5th on the internet and 1/10th by mail. About 34th said the process was easy and 1/5th said it was difficult.

85-90% of the remaining uninsured had not visited the Covered California website or called the 800 number.

This summary of the Kaiser Family Foundation’s findings on California ‘s Uninsured is available for download.