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More than 400,000 Californians with Developmental Disabilities Remain Outside the State Safety Net

November 29, 2016

Policy Note

Authors: Haleigh Mager-Mardeusz, Gerald F. Kominski, PhD

​An estimated 703,800 persons in California in 2015 had some type of developmental disability. Since 1969, California has provided people with developmental disabilities access to specialized care if they meet certain programmatic criteria. Not all Californians with developmental disabilities meet this criteria, however, leaving an estimated 423,800 Californians with developmental disabilities outside the state's safety-net.

The 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) expanded access to health insurance, including behavioral and habilitative services, but did not cover the wide range of benefits offered to those who meet the criteria for inclusion into California-specific developmentally disabled support services programs. Within the state program itself, racial and ethnic disparities in expenditures on care persist.

This policy note documents what services remain out of reach for Californians with developmental disabilities.

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