A new study from the UC Berkeley Labor Center indicates that the ACA has had a positive impact on the coverage rates for self-employed individuals, small business owners, and employees of small businesses in California. The study found that people employed by small businesses, which includes businesses with 50 employees or fewer, or those who are self-employed, rely on the ACA, Covered California, and Medi-Cal at higher rates than those employed by larger companies.
Consider this: One in five self-employed workers and small business employees in the state rely on ACA coverage for their healthcare coverage.
Before the ACA existed, 33.8% of self-employed Californians were uninsured. After the ACA, that rate plummeted to just 17.9%. Similarly, the uninsured rate among employees of small businesses dropped from 31% to 18.8% in only two years. These improvements are thanks in large part to California’s expansion of Medi-Cal eligibility, which wouldn’t have been possible without the ACA.
For employees working for restaurants, family-owned motels, independent grocery stores and drugstores, gas stations, clothing stores, and tax, accounting, bookkeeping and legal firms, the scaling back of Medi-Cal will have an outsized impact. Other examples of workers who benefit from the Medi-Cal expansion include those employed by family farms, preschools, community clinics, and construction companies.
Another issue uncovered by the study is the high number of self-employed Californians and employees of small businesses who became eligible for income-based subsidies because of the ACA, allowing them to access affordable and quality health care.
The report’s findings make it very clear that the ACA had and continues to have enormous positive impacts on small businesses, the self-employed, and small business employees.
A health care system that excludes anyone hurts everyone.
For a look at the full report, click here.