PPIC Issues Report on Impacts of Medi-Cal Expansion

The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) this week issued a report on the impacts of expanded eligibility of health insurance in California. PPIC, in light of Governor Newsom’s proposal to expand full-scope Medi-Cal eligibility to all income-eligible residents regardless of immigration status, explored longer-term impacts of the 2014 Medi-Cal expansion in California, with a focus on financial barriers to care.

PPIC finds that the expansion of Medi-Cal has reduced out-of-pocket health care costs, financial worries, and debt collections and bankruptcies among beneficiaries. PPIC additionally determined the expansion is also lowering financial barriers to necessary health services. In California counties with high uninsured rates in 2013 (places that stood to gain the most from Medi-Cal expansion), families have been less likely to delay needed care due to cost compared to those in other areas. Between 2014 and 2018, this translated to about a 25 percent reduction on average in delayed needed care. Importantly, this effect has grown over time.

PPIC discusses a series of recent proposals from the Newsom Administration to address health care coverage and affordability, including the state’s CalAIM Initiative and the recently established Office of Health Care Affordability.

The full PPIC report is available here.