Affordable Care Act
updated: Jun 29, 2012, 10:19 AM
Source: Public Health Department
The Supreme Court decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act will increase the rate of the
insured and improve access for residents to obtain health care in Santa Barbara County. The
County has estimated some specific impacts to local residents and initiated steps to prepare for
the full implementation of the Act in 2014.
There are approximately 67,000 residents without health care coverage in Santa Barbara
County currently. This Act will reduce the number without coverage to about 27,000. Most of
the uninsured will be covered under Medi-Cal and Medi-Cal enrollment is projected to increase
by 25,000 upon full implementation of the law in 2014 if California chooses to opt in to the
Medicaid expansion. Approximately 49,000 residents, (including individuals with and without
health care coverage now), will be enrolled in Health Exchanges in 2014.
The Public Health Department has begun preparing for full implementation of the Affordable
Care Act by increasing our capacity and strengthening our infrastructure. Specifically, we are:
o Working closely with our partners (e.g. hospitals, pharmacies, specialty medical
providers…) on improved communication and coordination to strengthen the
local safety net
o Implementing an Electronic Health Record (EHR) to increase efficiency and
sharing of key medical data
o Implementing e-prescribing (electronic prescriptions for medications)
o Streamlining eligibility and enrollment for Medi-Cal for patients coming to our
Health Care Centers in concert with the Department of Social Services
o Making improvements to our program serving Medically Indigent Adults
o Enhancing our integration of personal health and behavioral health
The Public Health Department will continue to assess the impacts of full implementation of the
new law and prepare to provide quality health care services to the residents of our County.
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