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Timely Access

Affordable coverage is a key entry point to the health care system, but coverage is just the first step to getting the care you need.

Getting care at the right time and place, and using that care wisely: That’s the hard part.

Health Access develops and advocates for various proposals designed to give consumers confidence in their care and coverage.  Thanks to the ACA and California’s commitment to full implementation, most Californians can get access to affordable insurance. But does that insurance give people the care they need when they need it? Does it provide financial security and access to necessary care that is safe and cost effective?  Not yet.

Whether you have Medi-Cal managed care, a subsidized plan through Covered California or coverage through your job, your coverage won’t do you much good if the wait time to see a doctor stretches into weeks or months, or if you must drive a long distance to the hospital or primary care clinic. Where there are strong protections in place (like timely access standards or geographic access standards), those protections need to be fully enforced. But for too many issues, the current standards fall short and additional oversight of health plans is needed whether through legislation, regulation, investigation, or standards imposed by Medi-Cal or Covered California contracts.