Legislative Analyst's Office, December 2002
California's Economy and
Budget in Perspective
2002 Cal Facts
Part 4: Health
Medi-Cal Caseload Increasing As Cost Per Person Declines
- Medi-Cal caseload grew
rapidly during the early 1990s as a result of eligibility expansions
and recession, then declined as the economy recovered.
Recent caseload growth results from actions to expand eligibility
and increase outreach efforts.
- The annual cost increase per person for Medi-Cal benefits
has averaged 4.5 percent since 1997-98 due to provider rate
increases, eligibility expansions, increased spending on drugs, and
other factors. The turnaround in the trend seen in 2001-02 and
2002-03 appears to be the result of an expansion of the caseload
to families and children less likely on average to need medical care.
Most Medi-Cal Families/Children Are Not on Welfare
- By 2000-01, for the first time
in the history of the Medi-Cal Program, welfare
(CalWORKs) recipients accounted for less than half of the families
(including pregnant women) and children enrolled in the program. This
trend has continued and Medi-Cal enrollment of nonwelfare
families and children now exceeds those on welfare by more than
- The reduction in the welfare component of the
Medi-Cal caseload is generally attributable to welfare reform and a strong
job market. The growth in the nonwelfare component is due
to recent legislative changes that have expanded and simplified
Medi-Cal eligibility for low-income working families.
Medi-Cal Caseload is Primarily Families/Children. . .
. . .While Most Medi-Cal Spending Is for Elderly/Disabled
to 2002 Cal Facts Table of Contents
2002 Cal Facts Program Trends: Crime
Return to LAO Home Page