California: Expect the uninsured rate to drop by another 600,000 by the end of August

Hat Tip To: 

First, remember the news from yesterday that the ACA had lopped California's uninsured rate in half, from 22% down to 11% as of June? 22% of 38 million people = about 8.36 million; half of that is 4.18 million.

Next, remember that massive backlog of 900,000 new Medicaid (aka Medi-Cal) enrollees that California was working with as of the end of May?

Well, guess what?

For months, the state has labored under the largest such pile-up in the country, with 900,000 pending cases reported in May—the combined result of unexpectedly high application numbers and bug-ridden computer systems.

In a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Monday, the California Department of Health Care Services said that it had reduced its application backlog to 600,000 by the start of this month. State officials also outlined a plan for technology fixes and administrative workarounds that they project will nearly halve that figure by the end of August—with most of those applications being processed within the allowed 45-day window. The letter was made public Tuesday.

So, they've processed 300,000 more people in June and the first half of July, and expect to process another 300,000 by the end of August. That's 600,000 more people enrolled in Medicaid, on top of whatever the number was as of the Commonwealth study (OK, call it 500,000 since some of them were already enrolled when the study was done in June, while some others probably had their applications denied or withdrawn for one reason or another).

On top of that, add another (estimated) 1,500/day QHP enrollees between late April and the end of August, and you're talking about up to 200,000 more people on private plans. That's upwards of 700,000 more people removed from the uninsured roles.

Lop off 100,000 of those to account for some moving from other coverage and so forth and you're looking at an additional net reduction of around 600K from California's uninsured tally...or as low as 9.5% by Labor Day.