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Medi-Cal Survey Highlights Areas of Improvement for Medicaid Expansion

The California HealthCare Foundation recently released “Medi-Cal at a Crossroads: What Enrollees Say About the Program,” which summarizes a survey of over 1,000 Californians on their experiences with and perceptions of the program.

Key points:

  • 90% of surveyed enrollees (n=1,083) view Medi-Cal as a very good or pretty good program, 78% believe it covered the care people need, and 69% feel it provides access to high quality care
  • While 77% found enrollment to be very easy or somewhat easy, the majority (56%) disagreed that the wait time in the county office was short
  • 79% of enrollees agree that it is easy to find a nearby primary care physician who accepts Medi-Cal, but only 43% say that is the case for specialists and 32% for mental health providers
  • Spanish-speaking Latinos are more likely to report positive experiences with Medi-Cal than other groups, while the opposite is true for enrollees with disabilities and those in fair/poor health

A significant proportion of current enrollees claimed they delayed care in the past 12 months due to cost.

With Medicaid expansion in the near future, these results provide some insight into how California should proceed.  Among newly eligibles surveyed, 58% thought that Medi-Cal is a very good or pretty good program, 38% believe it covered the care people need, and 29% feel it provides access to high quality care.  Also, only 27% of surveyed eligibles knew they qualified for the program.

Additionally, the plurality of eligibles expressed a desire to apply online (40%), but over half of newly eligibles would like to talk to someone in person if they needed help signing up for the program.

The full report is available online.

 

 

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