On the Issues
Barriers to Medi-Cal and Healthcare for Pregnant Women
Medi-Cal is a vital resource for the poor and uninsured to pay for all types of health care, yet it remains an often inaccessible or inadequate source of care for eligible women seeking reproductive health services. Many uninsured women qualify for Medi-Cal but encounter cumbersome eligibility application processes, rampant misinformation about standard application requirements, frequent case processing delays and, more recently, onerous identity documentation requirements adopted as a result of the Federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. ACCESS is working to expose the every day barriers that pregnant women face when trying to access Medi-Cal to pay for care, propose solutions for ameliorating the barriers and partnering with the Department at Healthcare Services at all levels to remove barriers to care.
Read our policy brief about barriers to Medi-Cal here:
Medi-Cal Reimbursement for Second Trimester Abortion
Although abortion is a legal medical procedure covered by Medi-Cal, many women experience difficulty accessing abortion care, particularly in the second trimester of pregnancy. The shortage of abortion providers, and those who accept Medi-Cal specifically, is particularly a problem for women seeking abortions from 21 to 24 weeks, when the number of Medi-Cal providers dramatically decreases.
Women Working to Achieve Universal Health Care
In California, there is a silent and growing epidemic of uninsured women who go without being able to access healthcare because they cannot afford or do not qualify for health insurance. Of California's 11 million women ages 19 through 64, 22%--or 2.5 million women--are uninsured. Women's health care matters: to their families, their communities and to the State of California. ACCESS is currently working in coalitions.Women LEAD for Health and Having Our Say.to elevate the voices of women and communities of color in the current debates and ensure that healthcare reform addresses their concerns.
Women of Color and Young Women Disproportionately Lack Access to Health Coverage:
- 7.2% of white females are uninsured compared to 31.9% of Latinas, 17.6% of American Indian/Alaskan Native, 12.7% of Asians and 9% of African Americans
- Females aged 18 to 34 (57.9%) or above 65 are least likely to have private insurance (47.7%)
- According to the California Disability Health Coalition, 1.1 million working age Californians with disabilities--1 in 5--have no health insurance
- Women are less likely to have employer-sponsored coverage (ESC) than men and more likely than men to be covered as dependents rather than primary beneficiaries
- Are charged up to 39% or more than men for the same individual health insurance plans because of the practice of "gender rating"
- Women are often forced to rely on pieced-together public programs focused on separate "body parts" rather than comprehensive care.
Learn more about the two important coalitions through which we.re advocating for health care reform:
- Women LEAD for Health is a collaboration of diverse health and women's organizations working to move California toward universal access to health care, by educating and involving women and women's organizations in state and local health reform efforts. ACCESS is part of the Executive Committee.
- The Having Our Say Coalition is a coalition of over 50 grassroots community organizations, advocacy groups, and immigrant right activists works to ensure that health care reform solutions address the needs of communities of color and to unite California's diverse communities to fight for quality, accessible health care for all.