SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A national health policy nonprofit has made California the focal point of a long-term research project to examine whether the Affordable Care Act lives up to expectations for the uninsured.

The Kaiser Family Foundation announced the beginning of its two-year effort on Thursday, releasing the initial results of interviews with 2,000 randomly selected Californians who had lacked health insurance for at least two months.

The study will follow the respondents as they examine their options under the federal health care law. The act reaches its most notable public milestone next Tuesday when the exchanges that act as marketplaces for insurance shopping open for business.

California is home to 15 percent of the nation's uninsured residents, or roughly 7 million people who were without health insurance at some point in 2012.