Feb 19, 2020 - Health

California's Affordable Care Act coverage experiment

Logo of Covered California

Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Covered California, the state's Affordable Care Act exchange, announced yesterday that new enrollment rose 41% in 2020 after the state reinstated the individual mandate and expanded the law's insurance subsidies.

Why it matters: If California is acting as a real-life test case for what happens when policymakers beef up the ACA, the experiment seems to be going well, at least in terms of coverage numbers.

Yes, but: The number of enrollees who renewed their coverage was down 8%, which "could be due to the strong economy. It could also signal a problem retaining consumers due to high costs," the Kaiser Family Foundation's Larry Levitt tweeted.

The big picture: Even the healthiest of marketplaces have had limited success in controlling health care costs. That's likely part of the reason why most Democrats are ready to move beyond the ACA only a decade after it passed.

Go deeper: California's new health care milestones

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