Riverside/San Bernardino: Despite Large Medi-Cal Expansion, Many Uninsured Remain

Mathematica Policy Research


Riverside and San Bernardino Counties continue to recover from the devastating economic effects of the 2008 recession. Income levels in the region remain relatively low, and employment growth is characterized by lower-wage jobs with fewer health insurance benefits.

Seventeen percent of residents in this region lacked coverage by the end of 2014 compared with just under 12% for California as a whole, although Medi-Cal enrollment continued to climb throughout 2015.

Other key findings include:

  • The market continues to grapple with a short supply of hospital beds and physicians, particularly primary care physicians and psychiatrists. Many hospitals lack the financial resources to build new capacity and address state seismic requirements.
  • While many physicians remain in independent or small practices, an eroding payer mix and other pressures are driving physicians to seek help in remaining independent or to trade independence for the stability of larger organizations like Kaiser.
  • Despite some improvements, the community lacks a robust, extensive safety net to adequately serve the health care needs of people with low incomes.
  • Some hospitals are making organizational changes and establishing the building blocks of integrated delivery systems.

The complete 2016 report and a quick reference guide, as well as the 2012 and 2009 editions, are available under Document Downloads.

CHCF has updated a series of issue briefs that examine the health care markets in seven regions of California: Fresno, Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside/San Bernardino, Sacramento, San Diego, and the San Francisco Bay Area. These issue briefs highlight the state’s changing health care systems following the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. They are published as part of the CHCF California Health Care Almanac, an online clearinghouse for key data and analyses examining California’s health care system.