Medi-Cal Versus Employer-Based Coverage: Comparing Access to Care

by A. J. Scheitler; Ninez A. Ponce; Shana Alex Charles; Tara Becker

Jul 10, 2015
This report takes a close look at access to care under Medi-Cal for nonelderly adults and children on the eve of Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation. Using data from the 2012 and 2013 California Health Interview Surveys (CHIS), the research examines a total of 49 measures (45 on realized and potential access and 4 on health status and health behaviors) for nonelderly adults and 31 measures (28 on realized and potential access and 3 on health status and behaviors) for children.

For adults, access under Medi-Cal is compared to access under employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) overall; among Medi-Cal enrollees, access is compared across subgroups defined by region, race/ethnicity, language, and other dimensions. For children, access under Medi-Cal and Healthy Families together (referred hereafter simply as "Medi-Cal") is compared against access under ESI.

To account for differences in health status and socioeconomic status between those with Medi-Cal and those with ESI, for each measure, three sets of analyses are presented: unadjusted percentages, predicted percentages adjusted for health care need, and predicted percentages adjusted for both health care need and socioeconomic status. The same approach is used in the analysis of regional and subgroup differences within the Medi-Cal population.
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