The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has brought significant changes to the Medi-Cal program, including a major expansion of eligibility for health care services. While these changes have the potential to dramatically improve access to medical care for previously uninsured Californians, both the newly eligible and those already eligible could experience problems accessing care if the program isn't sufficiently ready to handle the needs of this expanded population.
CHCF held a Sacramento briefing to discuss new research on enrollees' access to care prior to implementation of the ACA. The findings serve as an important baseline that enables policymakers and the public to monitor access to care for low-income Californians now that the ACA is in effect. The researchers present results from in-depth analyses of the National Health Information Survey, the California Health Interview Survey, and a statewide survey of physicians. Experts discuss:
- How Medi-Cal enrollees' access to care compares to that of Medicaid recipients in other states and to Californians with employer-sponsored insurance
- How adjusting for differences in health and socioeconomic status affects these comparisons
- Differences in access to care among Medi-Cal enrollees by race, language, location, and other factors
- The latest research on physician participation in Medi-Cal
Following the presentations, Toby Douglas, director of the California Department of Health Care Services, and Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access, respond to the research and reflect on potential next steps toward ensuring all Medi-Cal beneficiaries have access to the care they need. The panel also responds to audience questions.
- Janet Coffman, associate professor, UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies
- Toby Douglas, director, California Department of Health Care Services (reactor)
- Sharon Long, senior fellow, Urban Institute
- Chris Perrone, director, CHCF Health Reform and Public Programs initiative (moderator)
- Ninez Ponce, professor, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research
- Anthony Wright, executive director, Health Access (reactor)
The recording of the webinar, the speakers' presentation slides, and other related materials are available below.