Health Care Access

Rate of Uninsured Increases for the First Time Since 2011

Individuals who have health insurance and a usual source of care are more likely to seek routine health care and take advantage of preventative health screening services than those without such coverage. The result is a healthier population and more cost-effective health care. Delaying or not receiving needed medical care may result in more serious illness, increased complications, and longer hospital stays. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more people are receiving access to health care; however, a regional shortage of doctors, particularly primary care physicians, may restrict timely access to care. This indicator measures the percentage of residents without health insurance coverage, the number of residents per primary care physician, and whether residents have a usual source of care or delayed care. Also shown is Medi-Cal enrollment.

Health Care Access

How is San Bernardino County Doing?

The percentage of uninsured residents increased for the first time in seven years:

  • In 2018, 8.7% of San Bernardino County residents were uninsured, an increase of more than one percentage point from 2017 when 7.6% of residents were uninsured.
  • The long-term trend, however, is downward with a drop of almost 12 percentage points from 2012, when 20.6% of residents were uninsured.
  • San Bernardino County’s 2018 rate of uninsured is lower than the United States (8.9%) and all peer counties compared, except for Orange County (7.0%), Riverside (8.1%), and San Diego (8.4%). California also has fewer uninsured (7.2%).
  • At 12.3%, the racial or ethnic group most likely to be uninsured was the category “other” which includes Native American alone, some other race alone, or two or more races. This is followed by Latinos at 11.3%.
  • When broken out by household income, those with incomes in the second to lowest range ($25,000 to $49,000) were the most likely to be uninsured (10.9%).
  • 20.5% of those with less than a high school diploma were uninsured, compared with 5.1% of those with a college degree.
  • At 12.8%, young adults (ages 19-24 years old) were the age group most likely to be uninsured.
  • 3.3% of children under age six were uninsured.

Uninsured by Race/Ethnicity, Income, Education and Age

San Bernardino County, 2018
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Note: Asian includes Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander. White is non-Hispanic. Latino is of any race. Other includes American Indian and Alaska Native alone, some other race alone, or two or more races. Educational attainment data is for the population age 25 and over. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 1-Year Estimates (//factfinder2.census.gov)

Number of Residents per Primary Care Physician

County Comparison, 2019
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Compared to neighboring counties, fewer San Bernardino County residents have a usual place to go for medical care:

  • According to the 2017 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), 82.1% of people under age 65 had a usual place to go to when they were sick or needed health advice, a lower proportion than California and all neighboring counties compared.
  • 10.4% of San Bernardino County residents under age 65 delayed or did not get the medical care that they needed, in the middle among neighboring counties compared and lower than California (11.0%).
  • There are 1,747 people for each primary care physician in San Bernardino County, higher than the state and all neighboring counties compared, except Riverside County. The national target ratio (consisting of “top performers” in the top 10%) is 1,050 for each primary care physician. 1

Medi-Cal Enrollment in San Bernardino County

Medi-Cal, a health care program for certain low-income populations, has seen significant increases since the roll out of the Affordable Care Act, which expands eligibility and requires health insurance coverage. In 2019, however, Medi-Cal enrollment decreased for the first time in 10 years.

  • In 2019, Medi-Cal enrollment was 704,471, a 12% decreased from 2018 when enrollment was 802,510.
  • Conversely, in the 10-year period between 2010 and 2019, overall Medi-Cal enrollment increased 80%.

Enrollment in Medi-Cal

San Bernardino County, 2010-2019
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Source: San Bernardino County Human Services

Hospitals and Medical Facilities

There are 26 hospitals serving residents and visitors to San Bernardino County, including two trauma centers: Loma Linda University Medical Center and Arrowhead Regional Medical Center (ARMC). The ARMC operates four community Family Health Centers (FHCs) for primary care, and the only burn center serving San Bernardino, Riverside, Inyo and Mono counties.

Health Care Access (Under Age 65)

County Comparison, 2017
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Source: California Health Interview Survey

1Primary care physicians include practicing physicians under age 75 specializing in general practice medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics.