Just As Numbers of Uninsured Falls, Coronavirus May Cause it to Rise . . . Again

Just As Numbers of Uninsured Falls, Coronavirus May Cause it to Rise . . . Again

San Bernardino

The San Bernardino County Community Indicators Report shows in 2018, the number of uninsured in the county dropped to 8.7 percent, almost 12 percentage points lower than 2012, when 20.6 percent of residents were uninsured. The county’s 2018 uninsured rate was lower than the national average of 8.9 percent and all peer counties except for Orange County (7.0 percent), Riverside (8.1 percent), and San Diego (8.4 percent).

Certainly, individuals who have health insurance and a usual source of care are more likely to seek routine health care and take advantage of preventative health screening services than those without such coverage.  County officials note, “The result is a healthier population and more cost-effective health care. At 12.8 percent young adults (ages 19-24 years old) were the age group most likely to be uninsured. And 3.3 percent of children under age six were uninsured.

On Friday during a statewide conference call, health officials announced in light of the growing concerns over the spread of COVID-19, California’s version of the Affordable Care Act, Covered California, is extending its special enrollment period through the end of June in an effort to provide health insurance coverage to more Californians. 

The extension will allow those who do not have employer sponsored health insurance to sign up for federally subsidized health care. Individuals who make between $17,327 and up to $49,960 are eligible for federal healthcare subsidies under Covered California. (Those who make less than $17,327 are eligible for Medical/Medicaid). 

During Friday’s call, Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee stressed, “The human and economic impacts of the coronavirus will be far-reaching, long-lasting and impacting many Californians’ health and economic security.” 

Adding, “[W]e as a state and nation must rise to that challenge.”

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