State health care sign-ups faster than expected

02/04/2014 12:00 AM

02/03/2014 10:32 PM

Sacramento-area residents are buying insurance on the state’s new health care exchange much faster than anticipated – but hundreds of thousands still lack coverage, new figures show.

The Affordable Care Act requires most individuals without health insurance to obtain it and provides subsidies to those unable to afford premiums. One way to purchase insurance is through the state’s health care exchange, Covered California.

About 27,000 individuals in the four-county region bought insurance on the exchange from October through December 2013, the first three months the exchange was open, new Covered California statistics show. That’s almost as many as the state initially predicted would buy insurance during the entire six-month enrollment period.

In addition, thousands more were likely deemed eligible for coverage under Medi-Cal, the public health insurance program expanded under the Affordable Care Act.

Close to 270,000 residents in Sacramento, Yolo, Placer and El Dorado counties lacked health insurance last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, meaning that about 10 percent of the region’s uninsured gained coverage through the health care exchange during the last three months of 2013.

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