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Covered California and Obamacare related questions from consumers, employers and agents are answered by Phil Daigle with the best information available at the time. Archived entries may no longer be accurate as the Covered California and Obamacare knowledge-base is evolving quickly. TO REQUEST A PERSONAL RESPONSE INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS.


Can't Find Doctor Who Accepts Medi-Cal?

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Question: My sons ages 12 and 16 are enrolled in Medi-Cal because of my income. Their primary care doctor will no longer treat them while they are on Medi-Cal, and I can’t find one who will take him. What can I do?

Answer: It was bad before the ACA (2011-2013), with only about 60% of the California primary care doctors accepting new Medi-Cal patients. It has gotten much worse this year as the ACA added over 1 million new cases to the Medi-Cal roles. However, the distribution of Medi-Cal visits among California physicians is highly skewed. About one-third (35%) of physicians accounted for 80% of Medi-Cal visits. Emergency doctors and others who work primarily in hospitals had the highest rate of Medi-Cal participation (82%). Physicians at community health centers and public clinics had the highest rate of Medi-Cal participation (92%), and those in solo practice had the lowest (54%). You may have better luck finding a doctor for your sons in a large multi-doctor practice or community health center.

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You can also contact your county Medi-Cal agency for a list of participating physicians in your county. Although some physicians may have terminated their participation after the effective date of the list, you should be able to make a few phone calls and obtain the health care your children need without having to resort to the local hospital emergency room.

Your local hospital ER may also have a list of participating physicians who accept Medi-Cal patients, as well as your local county medical association.

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