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

Cheryl Clark, 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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