Medi-Cal Managed Care: An Overview and Key Issues
California’s Medicaid program, Medi-Cal, is the largest state Medicaid program in the nation, insuring almost one-third of Californians. For several decades, Medi-Cal has been transitioning from a fee-for-service (FFS) system to risk-based managed care, and more than three-quarters of all Medi-Cal beneficiaries, including low-income children, adults, seniors, and people with disabilities, are now enrolled in managed care plans. As other state Medicaid programs increase their reliance on risk-based managed care, a review of California’s transition is both timely and illustrative. This issue brief provides an overview of the evolution of Medi-Cal managed care, key issues, and lessons for managed care programs in other states.