Low-Income Residents Unsure of Effects From Federal Health Reform
Low-income, uninsured California residents are unclear about how the federal health reform law will affect them, according to a study from the Public Policy Institute of California, HealthyCal reports.
Beginning in 2014, the reform law is expected to extend Medi-Cal coverage to an additional 1.7 million to three million Californians. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
For the study, researchers gathered information from two focus groups:
- Parents who have children enrolled in public health plans; and
- Uninsured adults without children.
Findings Associated With Reform Law
In general, study participants were unsure about how the federal health reform law would affect them. Many participants were confused about the specifics of the law regarding present and future insurance coverage.
People who had financial concernsÂ or ideological reservations of the role of government expressed opposition to the requirement mandating individuals to purchase insurance or face a penalty.
Other Key Findings
Researchers found substantial concern among study participants who have children enrolled in Medi-Cal. Participants said that health care providers are too busy and that there is not enough doctor-patient interaction. They also expressed concern that an expansion of Medi-Cal would add burdens on health care providers and staff and negatively affect care.
Meanwhile, study participants who had not experienced Medi-Cal reported concerns about the reliability of their new insurance coverage. For example, income fluctuations could affect Medi-Cal eligibilityÂ (van Diepen, HealthyCal, 8/16).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.