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Medi-Cal Expansion

Blog Posts tagged "Medi-Cal Expansion"

Welcome to This Week in Equity Engagement on Twitter (TWEET) for the week of October 12, 2015. Yet again, there’s so much great work being done it’s hard to capture all of it, but I think we have a bunch of interesting topics this week. Check it out:

Public policy efforts are working to improve access to healthy food!

New report shows that more than half of California’s remaining uninsured are eligible for public health programs.

Today we celebrate the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s signing of the Social Security Amendments of 1965, an act that created both the Medicare and Medicaid programs. With one stroke of his pen, President Johnson put in place an unprecedented commitment to health that has impacted the lives of hundreds of millions of Americans. 

The Medicaid program – Medi-Cal here in California – began as a federal-state partnership to cover medical expenses for families receiving public assistance. After it was separated from welfare in the 1990s, Medicaid has continued to grow and now covers more than 80 million people, including roughly one-third of American children. In California, following the successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s expansions, Medi-Cal now covers over 12 million low-income individuals, including nearly half of all children in the state. The program serves to address key inequities in the health care system, in particular the coverage gaps faced by communities of color. While we’re still waiting on a reliable breakdown of Medi-Cal enrollees by race and ethnicity after the expansion, communities of color likely represent a large majority of recipients. (In 2013, communities of color made up over 80% of the Medi-Cal population and nearly half spoke a language other than English.)

Researchers and advocates from across the state gathered in Sacramento today for a briefing hosted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Blue Shield of California Foundation to accompany the release of their new report, Coverage Expansions and the Remaining Uninsured: A Look at California During Year One of ACA Implementation.

The report focused on California’s experiences during the first full year after implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansion. Focusing on those who have gained coverage either through Covered California or an expanded Medi-Cal program, the report examined the state’s health care system after roughly 4.4 million people have enrolled in coverage in the two programs. Using results from a comprehensive survey, the report found that those with insurance were more likely to use it, but the newly insured had more trouble than the previously insured navigating how to use their coverage. Additionally, almost half (47%) of those newly enrolled in Covered California reported having difficulty affording their monthly premiums, compared to 27% of those who were previously ensured prior to 2014. The report also found that community clinics and health centers are increasingly relied upon by the uninsured and newly insured.