My name is Samantha G. and I have a Medi-Cal story I’d love to tell. As the daughter of farmworkers, I grew up knowing how difficult it was to access health care. So I was really happy when I qualified for Medi-Cal – to me it meant the ability to take charge of my health and to do the things I needed to do to be healthy and happy.
Unfortunately what I learned is just because you have health insurance coverage, it doesn’t mean you have health care.
I live with my husband in the heart of the Central Valley – Fresno California. When it was time for me to pick a primary care doctor I couldn’t believe how difficult the process would be. Because of the lack Medi-Cal providers in my city, I had to go to five different doctors before someone would accept my coverage. Three weren’t taking new Medi-Cal patients and of the two that were, there was a one-month wait just to get an appointment.
But you can’t wait a whole month when you’re sick with the flu. Now my husband and I are expecting our first child. It’s supposed to be a happy occasion but because providers won’t accept my Medi-Cal managed care coverage, it’s turned into a stressful situation that continues today.
Although I have an OB/GYN, I’m still having difficulty obtaining necessary pre-natal tests. Just last week I was told that an ultrasound appointment that I made six weeks ago was canceled because of issues with my insurance and referrals.
My husband took the day off to drive me because the ultrasound was scheduled in Madera -- a city 30 miles away. I did everything I needed to do and I still can’t get care. Thankfully I have Planned Parenthood health centers as my backup for basic care.
I’m speaking out because no one should have to jump through a million hoops just to be seen by a doctor. And I support these efforts to restore Medi-Cal funding so we can all live up to the promise of health care access.
Planned Parenthood will be bringing all the #HealthAccess4Women signatures to the Capitol - sign the petition now! If we are to bring the reality of health care to all Californians, especially women and their families, there needs to be meaningful investments in Medi-Cal.