Health Care Access

Significant Increase in Medi-Cal Enrollment

Individuals who have health insurance and a usual source of care are more likely to seek routine health care and take advantage of preventative health screening services than those without such coverage. The result is a healthier population and more cost-effective health care. Delaying or not receiving needed medical care may result in more serious illness, increased complications, and longer hospital stays. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more people will have access to health care; however, a regional shortage of doctors, particularly primary care physicians, may restrict timely access to care.

How is San Bernardino County Doing?

Estimates indicate that approximately one in five San Bernardino County residents are uninsured, a proportion that has declined slightly over the past five years:
  • In 2013, 19.0% of San Bernardino County residents were uninsured, a five-year decrease of 1.5 percentage points.
  • This proportion is higher than the United States (14.5%) and California (17.2%). It is in the mid-range compared to peers.
  • Young adults were the age group most likely to be uninsured (28%).
  • Latino residents were the racial or ethnic group most likely to be uninsured (25%).
  • When broken out by household income, those with incomes in the lowest range (under $25,000) were the most likely to be uninsured (28%).
  • 37% of those with less than a high school diploma were uninsured.
  • At 28%, young adults were the age group most likely to be uninsured.
  • 6% of young children, under age six, were uninsured.

Note: Asian includes Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander. All races are non-Latino. Educational attainment data is for the population age 25 and over.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 1-Year Estimates (factfinder2.census.gov)

Compared to neighboring counties, more San Bernardino County residents have a usual place to go for medical care:
  • According to the 2014 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), 83.1% of people under age 65 had a usual place to go to when they were sick or needed health advice. This is lower than the statewide average but higher than all neighboring counties compared, except Orange County.
  • However, despite the relatively high proportion of residents with a usual place to go for care, more San Bernardino County residents under age 65 delayed or did not get the medical care that they needed than the state and all neighboring counties compared.
  • Still, this is an improvement since 2009, when 17.4% of San Bernardino County residents under age 65 delayed or did not get needed medical care.
  • There are 1,736 people for each primary care physician in San Bernardino County, higher than the state and all neighboring counties compared, except Riverside County. The national target ratio is 1,067 for each primary care physician.1
Medi-Cal Enrollment in San Bernardino County
Medi-Cal, a health care program for certain low-income populations, has seen significant increases since the roll out of the Affordable Care Act, which expands eligibility and requires health insurance coverage.
  • In 2015, Medi-Cal enrollment increased 31% from the previous year.
  • In the 10-year period between 2006 and 2015, overall Medi-Cal enrollment more than doubled (140% increase).
Source: San Bernardino County Human Services

Source: County Health Rankings and Roadmaps (www.countyhealthrankings.org)

Source: California Health Interview Survey

ENDNOTES

  1. Primary care physicians include practicing physicians under age 75 specializing in general practice medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics.