California: Yes, ACA exchange enrollees are using their new coverage.

Covered California sent out an interesting press release today:

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi visited the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), today to highlight a new report showing that thousands of Californians who have obtained health insurance as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have received vital treatment — including brain surgeries, heart transplants, cancer treatment and trauma care — since January 2014, when the health exchange opened its doors.

“Today’s report is the latest evidence that the Affordable Care Act is delivering on the promise of making health care a right for all, not just a privilege for the few,” Pelosi said. “Covered California has been an enormous success. Thanks to this historic law, nearly 1.3 million Californians now have affordable coverage through the Covered California marketplace — and this data today makes clear that Californians are using this coverage to access vital, high-quality health care.”

...“People insured through Covered California have used their coverage to get care for broken bones, cancer treatment, elective surgeries and life-saving care at some of the best hospitals in our state,” said Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee. “It is this care, delivered at hospitals like UCSF Medical Center, that demonstrates how our members are getting not only emergency care, but also the critical follow-up and ongoing care they need and deserve.”

UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS, said the medical center has seen firsthand how access to insurance is translating into life-saving and critical care.

...Highlights of the data reported to Covered California by hospitals include:

  • 65,040 emergency room visits.
  • 5,745 babies delivered to Covered California enrollees, including 473 babies who received care in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs).
  • 3,741 incidents of trauma and broken bones treated, including inpatient orthopedic surgery and treatment for fractures in emergency rooms.
  • 10,928 incidents of cancer treatment provided (including surgery and chemotherapy), including 1,218 treatments at UCSF Medical Center.
  • 692 joint replacements (knee and hip), including 75 performed at UCSF Medical Center.
  • 89 organ transplants performed for Covered California enrollees at eight hospitals in the state — with 33 at UCSF — including seven lung transplants, 34 bone marrow transplants, 18 kidney transplants, seven heart transplants and 22 liver transplants.

At first glance, this may seem rather obvious; of course people who have health insurance are going to use it (in fact, according to UnitedHealthcare and Humana, they're using it way too much...), but it's also worth reminding people what the purpose of the ACA is at its heart: Getting as many people as possible decent healthcare.