California HealthCare Foundation finds care delayed by cost

The California HealthCare Foundation released a new report, Survey Says: Californians’ Perspectives on Health Care, which found nearly half of all Californians delayed care due to cost in the past twelve months. The polling data comes from 2014, well after last year’s inaugural open-enrollment period.

Most notably, the report found that:

  • More than half of adults with the greatest need (those reporting fair or poor health) delayed care in the past 12 months due to cost. Overall, 40% of adults reported delaying care due to cost.
  • One in five enrollees (21%) reported difficulty finding a primary care physician who accepted Medi-Cal.
  • Among adults who needed to see a specialist, those in fair or poor health were more likely to have difficulty getting an appointment than those in excellent or very good health (43% vs. 17%).

– California HealthCare Foundation (Source: Report)

The report underscores issues that both insurers and providers have shared at State of Reform Conferences: relatively low health literacy among consumers (which confirms findings by Consumer’s Union), that a majority of consumer-facing health costs either stayed the same or increased (excluding the race to the bottom for premiums), and higher utilization of community clinics or public hospitals for those on Medicaid or Uninsured compared to the general population (nearby Oregon is making significant strides in closing this gap through CCOs, who manage Medicaid beneficiaries’ care).

At 35 slides in all, it’s quite concise and the dataset is publicly available for deeper dives. We recommend reading the report on California HealthCare Foundation’s website.

stor-california-healthcare-foundation-slidebExample Slide: Care Delays, by type and race

stor-california-healthcare-foundation-slideaExample Slide: Care facility utilized, by coverage type