Californians lacking health insurance halved under Obamacare: study

SACRAMENTO Calif. Thu Jul 10, 2014 6:41pm EDT

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SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters) - The number of Californians without health insurance has been cut in half since the implementation of Obamacare, according to a survey published Thursday.

The study by the Commonwealth Fund, a healthcare research foundation, showed that about 11 percent of adults in the most populous U.S. state were uninsured as of last month, down from 22 percent in the summer of 2013.

California was the first state to pass legislation to set up its own marketplace allowing consumers and small businesses to purchase highly regulated coverage under the Affordable Care Act, and the state has also expanded its Medicaid program, providing insurance to more low-income residents.

Nationwide, the report showed, an estimated 9.5 million fewer adults between the ages of 19 and 64 were uninsured at the end of the period than at the beginning, bringing the total U.S. rate of uninsured to 15 percent from 20 percent.

Among poor adults, the rates of uninsured remained highest in states that did not expand eligibility for Medicaid, the federal low-income healthcare program, the report showed.

The highest rates of uninsurance were in Florida and Texas, both states that chose not to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act.

(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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