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Discontinuous Enrollment in Medi-Cal and Healthy Families and Its Effects on Access to Physician Services

April 1, 2009

External Publication

Author: Shana Charles, Ph.D., M.P.P.

The authors examined how children ages 0-18 who enrolled into or disenrolled from California's Medicaid program (called Medi-Cal,"MC") and State Children's Health Insurance Program (called Healthy Families, "HF") are affected in their access to physician services. The researchers found that children who had MC/HF coverage and became uninsured experienced significantly higher rates of delay in needed care than did continuously insured children. Uninsured children who gained MC/HF coverage had similar access outcomes compared to children with continuous coverage, indicating the beneficial effects of becoming insured. Children who were uninsured all year fared worst on all levels of access when compared to children who were continuously insured all year.

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