1 in 3 Medi-Cal Enrollees Delay Care on Cost Concerns

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media , May 31, 2012

Medi-Cal, the largest Medicaid program in the nation with 7.5 million beneficiaries—and 10 million by 2014—may be a good program overall, but one in five patients don't think it provides access to high quality medical care and another 10% aren't sure.

Nearly half of Medi-Cal patients in fair or poor health (46%) say it is difficult to find a specialist for needed care, compared with 23% of patients in excellent health. And nearly one-third (31%) said they had delayed care in the last 12 months because of the cost. For example, 15% delayed filling a prescription, 18% care for a specific medical problem, and 17% delayed getting a test, treatment or follow-up care because of the cost.

More than half (56%) of respondents reported long wait times to sign up for the program and one in four said they disagreed with the statement that the workers at the county offices were friendly.

Those are some conclusions from a survey conducted by the California HealthCare Foundation, "Medi-Cal at a Crossroads: What Enrollees Say About the Program," released Thursday. The survey was conducted between December, 2011 and January, 2012, following a series of cuts to the program that were implemented in recent years.

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1 comments on "1 in 3 Medi-Cal Enrollees Delay Care on Cost Concerns"


M. Bennet Broner, PhD (5/31/2012 at 11:39 AM)
Though undeniably some people have to forgo some health care, I've found far too often that it is not a question of economics, but choices. The same person who complains about not having a medication copay smokes a pack of cigarettes daily and has little interest in reducing this number. If s/he reduced her smoking by only four a day, she's have sufficient money for the copay in less than a week. Similarly, older individuals spend hugh amounts of money annually on nostrums with little therapeutic value, but complain about insufficient funds for health care. At some point, there has to be personal responsibility rather than system blame!

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