California Healthline Daily Edition

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Study: Medi-Cal Long-Term Care Spending To Double by 2023

Medi-Cal spending on long-term care services is expected to nearly double in the next decade, from $6.6 billion this year to $12.4 billion annually by 2023, according to a UC-Berkeley study, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.

Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.

Details of Study

The study estimated that there will be an 88% increase in government spending for institutional long-term care services over the next 10 years (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 11/25).

William Dow of UC-Berkeley's Division of Health Policy and Management said the number of seniors in California will increase by 44% -- from 4.8 million to 6.9 million -- by 2023. Dow said the uptick is a "long-anticipated increase."

Brenda Bufford -- head of California's Partnership for Long-Term Care, which funded the study -- said that 70% of seniors will need long-term care over the next decade.

Effect on Family Caregivers

Meanwhile, nearly 90% of long-term care is provided by family caregivers who often report "higher levels of mental and physical health problems and are generally uncompensated for their services," according to a Department of Health Care Services release (DHCS release, 11/21).

Bufford said, "The burdens on family caregivers are enormous" (Sacramento Business Journal, 11/25).


The study authors recommend that California residents "strongly consider planning ahead to ensure they live their later years with quality and dignity."

According to the authors, the "first step" in planning is having a conversation with loved ones "to develop a long-term care plan" (DHCS release, 11/21).

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