Homepage Top

Opinion: The Cost of Medical Care is Unaffordable for California’s Most Vulnerable. We Need Policy Change

Millions of Californians feel they can’t afford to address their health needs, whether through medication, doctor’s visits or insurance coverage.

California’s new Office of Health Care Affordability recently proposed capping medical spending growth at 3 percent. This would limit how much things like insurance premiums or the cost of medical services could rise every year.

‘She’s Taught Me So Much About What Real Courage Is:’ A Window into the Life of a Family Caring for a Child with Intensive Medical Needs 

California has multiple programs that provide support to children with complex medical needs and disabilities. But accessing and making use of these programs is a minefield for many families.

Vivian Vasquez and John Hernandez discovered that for themselves after their daughter, Claire, was born with a rare genetic disorder.

How to Make it Easier for Kids with Disabilities to Get Care

California has a variety of programs aimed at supporting the health care needs of children with complex disabilities. But accessing and utilizing these programs is complicated and time consuming.

The California Health Report spoke with several experts and disability advocates about what can be done to ease the burden on families and ensure children with disabilities get the care they need.

Still Grappling With Provider Access Issues, State Pours More Money Into Denti-Cal

In an ideal world, Jennifer Kent would like to have added 1,000 new dentists across California willing to accept enrollees in Denti-Cal, the state’s low-income dental program, over the past year. Kent, director of the California Department of Health Care Services, the agency that manages the program, has had to settle for a much more modest number: 73 new dentists.

For Low-Income Children, Access to Mental Health Care Varies Sharply by County

Statistics show kids and teens in Orange County use specialty mental health services at a lower rate than children in most other counties in the state. Fewer than 2 percent of Medi-Cal-enrolled youth under age 21 in Orange County consistently received a specialty mental health service in fiscal year 2015 to 2016.

At the other end of the spectrum are counties like San Francisco, where almost 5 percent of San Francisco’s Medi-Cal enrolled kids came into regular contact with the SMHS system in that time. While the percentage differences appear small, they represent potentially tens of thousands of kids in lower-performing counties who are missing out on mental health care.

X Close

Subscribe to Our Mailing List