Calif. Homeless Women Face Obstacles to ACA Coverage
Homeless women in California face several obstacles as they seek health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act, HealthyCal reports.
This year, California will extend its Medi-Cal program to women without children. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
According to HealthyCal, 1.4 million California residents will be newly eligible for the program, including 53% of homeless individuals.
Details of Challenges
Despite the expansion, Medi-Cal beneficiaries still will be required to provide proof of residency to enroll in 2015, which can be difficult for homeless individuals to acquire.
In addition to not having proof of residency, many homeless women face other obstacles to obtaining coordinated health care, including:
- Being victims of sexual assault;
- Needing preventive treatments, such as mammograms; and
- Needing to obtain child care services in order to attend a doctor's appointment.
Observers say coordinating care between clinics, homeless shelters, housing providers and substance misuse specialists will be important to treating homeless women's health needs.
Leslie Clark -- executive director of United Homeless Healthcare Partners -- said, "It's really key to deliver those services together, so you don't have a woman going to ... different agencies."
More Options Possible Under Medi-Cal
When Medi-Cal coverage expands under the ACA, clinics will receive reimbursements for more services. As a result, many clinics could provide care to additional patients, including homeless women.
The health home option under the ACA also could help align health care services for homeless women (Amandolare, HealthyCal, 1/9). Health homes provide Medi-Cal beneficiaries with mental illness or other chronic conditions with a coordinated team of health care providers who span the health care system (California Healthline, 2/20/13).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.