Medi-Cal Matters

By  Hilary Haycock, President
and Lucy Pagel, Policy Consultant

Harbage Consulting, with support from the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) released “Medi-Cal Matters,” a report detailing the importance of California’s Medicaid program, Medi-Cal, to Californians. Through a series of graphs and infographics, the report demonstrates the many benefits Medi-Cal delivers to Californians, by providing access to vital health care providers and services to millions of Californians at all stages of life and levels of need. The report highlights the value Californians find in the Medi-Cal program as well as the economic benefits.

The report is a snapshot of data on the Medi-Cal program from various sources, including the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) and The Kaiser Family Foundation. The data shows that Medi-Cal covers one in three Californians, including families, veterans, workers, the elderly and those living with disabilities.  Medi-Cal coverage results in access to care, including regular check-ups, preventive care, and prescriptions, and ultimately saves lives. In fact, providing adults access to Medi-Cal is estimated to save upwards of 25,000 adult Californian lives per year.

Using data from local Medi-Cal managed care health plans and CHIS, the report also provides a snapshot of the impact of Medi-Cal on different regions throughout the state. A few examples of the data represented in the report are below. Please view the full report for more detail, including citations.

MediCal Matters

The report highlights the following:

  • Medicaid helps kids:
    • Medi-Cal pays for 50% of the births in California and covers nearly 50% of children in the state.
    • Studies show that kids with Medicaid coverage miss fewer school days, finish high school and graduate college, stay out of the emergency room and hospital, and eventually grow up to earn more money than children who are uninsured.
  • Medi-Cal helps Californians in need of extra care:
    • Medi-Cal covers 50% of Californians living with a disability and 60% of nursing home residents.
  • Having Medi-Cal results in better access to care than being uninsured:
    • Those with Medi-Cal are 34% more likely to have a usual source of care outside of the emergency room than the uninsured.
    • Children on Medi-Cal are twice as likely to receive preventive care as uninsured kids.
  • Medi-Cal matters to the state and to its members:
    • 88% of Californians say Medi-Cal is important to the state.
    • 96% of Californians with Medi-Cal say it is important to them and their families.
  • Medi-Cal helps our economy:
    • Full-time workers with Medi-Cal are able to work 4.7 more days that add up to $1.7 billion in extra personal income every year.