1 in 3 Medi-Cal Enrollees Delay Care on Cost Concerns
A statement issued with the CHCF report highlights its positive findings, for example, that 69% of the respondents say they are satisfied with the quality of their care and 78% believe the program covers the care people need.
Perrone says that's perhaps because the survey could have found much more negative responses than it did. "There's a lot of good news about the program at a time when Medi-Cal, and Medicaid nationally, are often disparaged. It's important to recognize that the people enrolled really value and appreciate the program."
However, Perrone agrees that a legitimate way to interpret the report is to examine the flip side, of how many beneficiaries are unhappy with their Medi-Cal experience.
"It is important to see that even when you have three-quarters of people saying you need to enroll, it is important to say that one in four think it is not," he says.
The report is important especially in its roll to highlight challenges the program must overcome with regard to the enrollment process, which will serve a population in 2014 that is bigger than 43 states.
"If the Affordable Care Act is implemented in 2014 as enacted, and the expansions are implemented, California can expect two to three million more people to enroll in Medi-Cal, and that will require a wide array of pathways," Perrone said.
"This survey says that while most have good experiences with the enrollment systems now, many more people will prefer to enroll online and wait times at county offices are long. Those are clearly two opportunities for improvement."
Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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