Rate of Uninsured Continues to Decline
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.
How is San Bernardino County Doing?
The percentage of uninsured residents declined for seventh consecutive year:
- In 2017, 7.6% of San Bernardino County residents were uninsured, a drop of 13 percentage points from 2012, when 20.6% of residents were uninsured.
- This is lower than the United States (8.7% uninsured) and all peer counties compared, except for Orange County (7.4% uninsured) and California (7.2%).
- Those in the category “other” (which includes American Indian and Alaska Native alone, some other race alone, or two or more races) were the racial or ethnic group most likely to be uninsured (11.0%), followed by Latinos (10.1%).
- 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 (10.7%).
- 18.4% of those with less than a high school diploma were uninsured, compared with 4.4% of those with a college degree.
- At 11.2%, adults (ages 25-64 years old) were the age group most likely to be uninsured.
- 2.1% of children under age six were uninsured.
Compared to neighboring counties, more San Bernardino County residents have a usual place to go for medical care:
- According to the 2016 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), 86.5% of people under age 65 had a usual place to go to when they were sick or needed health advice, a higher proportion than California and all neighboring counties compared, except San Diego (86.7%).
- However, 11.8% of San Bernardino County residents under age 65 delayed or did not get the medical care that they needed, higher than the state and all neighboring counties compared.
- There are 1,752 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 1,030 for each primary care physician.1
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 2018, Medi-Cal enrollment increased less than one percent from the previous year.
- However, in the 10-year period between 2009 and 2018, overall Medi-Cal enrollment more than doubled (127% increase).
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 three community Family Health Centers (FHCs) for primary care, and the only burn center serving San Bernardino, Riverside, Inyo and Mono counties.