News Release

Date Posted

Statement from Peter V. Lee on Kaiser Family Foundation Survey Released Thursday

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee said a survey released Thursday by the Kaiser Family Foundation titled “California’s Previously Uninsured After The ACA’s Second Open Enrollment Period” provides further proof that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is working in California.

The survey found that more than two-thirds of California’s uninsured population (68 percent) gained health coverage since the Affordable Care Act went into effect in 2014. That share is up from 58 percent of Californians who became insured after Covered California’s first open-enrollment period in 2014.

The survey also found that:

  • 86 percent of recently insured consumers say their health needs are being met, which is up from 51 percent in the first survey conducted in 2013 before Covered California’s first open enrollment period.
  • 49 percent of the recently insured reported difficulty affording their health care, which is down from 86 percent in the first survey.
  • 23 percent of the recently insured reported having problems paying their medical bills in the past 12 months, which is down from 45 percent in the first survey.
  • Additionally, 70 percent of recently insured Covered California consumers say the cost of the health insurance coverage was about what they expected or even less than they expected.

Approximately 88 percent of Covered California enrollees receive some level of financial assistance to help pay for their premiums.

“All Californians should be pleased with the tremendous strides we have made over the past three years,” Lee said, “but we know we have more to do in the months and years ahead to ensure that all eligible Californians are able to come into coverage and access affordable, quality care."

Read the study online at This large-scale survey was conducted between Feb. 18 and May 13 and included responses from 1,105 individuals.

Covered California’s next open enrollment period begins Nov. 1 and runs through Jan. 31, 2016. In the meantime, special enrollment for those who experience a change in life circumstances, such as moving or having a baby, continues year round.

For more information on Covered California’s special-enrollment period, and to find out who is eligible, visit Medi-Cal enrollment and Covered California for Small Business enrollment also continue year round.

About Covered California
Covered California is the state’s marketplace for the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Covered California, in partnership with the California Department of Health Care Services, was charged with creating a new health insurance marketplace in which individuals and small businesses can get access to affordable health insurance plans. Covered California helps individuals determine whether they are eligible for premium assistance that is available on a sliding-scale basis to reduce insurance costs or whether they are eligible for low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal. Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Small businesses can purchase competitively priced health insurance plans and offer their employees the ability to choose from an array of plans and may qualify for federal tax credits.
Covered California is an independent part of the state government whose job is to make the new market work for California’s consumers. It is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the Governor and the Legislature. For more information about Covered California, please visit