Public Option in California

March 12, 2020

In his 2020-21 proposed budget, Governor Gavin Newsom called for policy options to “strengthen enrollment, affordability, and choice in Covered CA,” (referred to in the budget as the state’s public option), as well as efforts “to leverage the statewide network of existing public Medi-Cal Managed Care Plans.”

This issue of ITUP ESSENTIALS reviews through a California lens issues and concepts related to a state-level public option for individual coverage.

The ESSENTIALS considers the California context for a public option, and the unique characteristics of Covered California as the state’s ACA exchange. Several states currently exploring a public option are looking at a hybrid public-private partnership model of the public option very similar to the structure of Covered California since its inception.


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