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California's Uninsured on the Eve of ACA Open Enrollment

Section 4: What comes next

Over the course of the next six months, millions of uninsured Californians will likely come into contact with the enrollment expansion options being made available to them under the Affordable Care Act. As opposed to being an ideological debate, this contact will involve real life choices, possibly real life compromises. It will involve real, tangible benefits. For some, it will require a tangible financial investment.

By using the current survey as a baseline, and returning to the field to talk to this very same group of Californians after the six month open-enrollment period ends – whether they have signed up for health insurance or remain uninsured – we hope to shed light on what they make of all these changes. What choices did they make? Who enrolled in Medi-Cal and why, or why not? Who shopped on the state’s new exchange, and how do they evaluate that experience and the coverage they got there? Has expanded access to health insurance made a dent in the level of worry people without coverage currently experience in viewing an uncertain future? We will follow up over the longer term with a third and fourth wave of interviews to fully capture the views and experiences of the state’s uninsured throughout the first two years of the ACA insurance expansion.

In the interim, we plan to release additional analyses taking a closer look at key subgroups among the state’s uninsured population – such as young adults, Hispanics, and the undocumented uninsured – as well as a series of in-depth, follow-up profiles of individual uninsured Californians reflecting, illustrating and further exploring the results of the baseline survey.

Section 3: California's undocumented uninsured Section 5: About the terms used in this report