Publications / The 2023 CHCF California Health Policy Survey

The 2023 CHCF California Health Policy Survey

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California is home to nearly 40 million people of different incomes, ages, and racial and ethnic backgrounds, and who live in different regions. Every year since 2019, the California Health Care Foundation has conducted a representative, statewide survey of residents’ views and experiences on a variety of health care topics, some of which are tracked to detect meaningful shifts over time.

The California Health Care Foundation and NORC at the University of Chicago, a nonpartisan research organization, conducted the survey again in late 2022. Results are reported and, where applicable, compared to the prior annual survey, which was conducted in late 2021.

Key findings from this year’s survey include:

Health care costs. Like prior years, half of Californians (52%) report skipping or delaying health care due to cost in the past 12 months.  Of those who skipped or delayed care, half of them (50%) say their condition got worse as a result.

Medical debt. More than 1 in 3 (36%) report having medical debt, and of those, 1 in 5 (19%) report owing $5,000 or more. Californians with lower incomes (52%) are more likely than those with higher incomes (30%) to report medical debt.

Equity. More than half of Californians (54%) experienced at least one negative interaction with a health care provider in the last few years. Black and Latino/x Californians were more likely (69% and 62%, respectively) to report having negative experiences than White and Asian Californians (48% each).

Homelessness. Fourteen percent of Californians say they or someone close to them has experienced a period of homelessness in the past five years. About one in three Californians with lower incomes (31%) report experiencing homelessness or knowing someone who did in the last five years. More than one in five Californians (22%) say they are “very” or “somewhat” worried about experiencing homelessness.

Home supports. More than four in 10 Californians (44%) report they are “not too” or “not at all” confident in having the financial resources to pay for any home-based support they or their family members will need as they get older. In the past 12 months, 14% of Californians have tried to get home-based support for themselves or a family member; of those, more than a third (35%) were unable to get the care they needed.

Medi-Cal. Nearly nine in 10 Californians (87%) say the Medi-Cal program is “very” or “somewhat” important for the state. More than half of Californians (53%) say Med-Cal is “very” or “somewhat” important to themselves and their family. Nearly eight in 10 Californians with lower incomes (84%) say that Medi-Cal is “very” or “somewhat” important to themselves and their family.

The full report, available for download below, shows data broken down by race and ethnicity, and income. Also available are the detailed topline results, charts, and a press release about the poll. An accompanying article on The CHCF Blog highlights some of the health care challenges California’s older adults face and underscores the importance of the state’s CalAIM initiative.