Access to Physicians in California’s Public Insurance Programs

Mathematica Policy Research


This is archived content, for historical reference only.

This issue brief provides insight into the issues associated with physician access for people covered by California’s Medi-Cal and Healthy Families programs. The authors summarize five studies commissioned by CHCF and the results of an extensive review of literature. Key findings include:

  • Enrollment in Medi-Cal and Healthy Families improves access to physician services; however, access is worse for those whose coverage is intermittent.
  • Adult beneficiaries experience more access problems than children enrolled in these public programs.
  • Beneficiaries with chronic illnesses and those who require specialty care face more access problems.
  • Medi-Cal beneficiaries enrolled in fee-for-service Medi-Cal may experience worse access than those enrolled in Medi-Cal managed care.
  • There are large differences in access across counties for those covered by Medi-Cal and Healthy Families.

The findings underscore areas for improvements in California’s public insurance programs and suggest dimensions of access that should continue to be monitored.

The issue brief can be found under Document Downloads below.

Some of the studies cited in this issue brief can be found through the links under Related CHCF Pages below.