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The evidence-based consumer guide "What Are My Medi-Cal Choices?" helps seniors and people with disabilities on Medi-Cal (Medicaid) make more informed decisions about their Medi-Cal options. The guide was piloted in three counties: Alameda, Riverside, and Sacramento, and in three languages: English, Spanish, and Chinese. It is based on best practices in health literacy. It was also adapted into Vietnamese, Korean, Hmong, Farsi, Tagalog, Russian, Cambodian, Armenian, and Arabic, as well as Braille and audio versions.
HRA conducted a literature review and extensive formative research to better understand how seniors and people with disabilities who have Medi-Cal make decisions about health care and what additional information might help them make more informed choices. Formative research included 18 focus groups, 22 individual interviews, and 70 usability test interviews with Medi-Cal beneficiaries who speak English, Spanish, or Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese). HRA also conducted 60 key informant interviews with providers and policy makers. HRA used the research findings to recommend and create complementary interventions. The project worked closely with a 24-person Advisory Group.
HRA conducted a pre-post intervention telephone survey to evaluate how well consumers understood the guide, its impact on their core knowledge about Medi-Cal choices, and whether or not the guide was associated with changing to Medi-Cal Managed Care. A process evaluation of the guide distribution was also conducted.
In 2008, "What Are My Medi-Cal Choices?" received the “Outstanding Achievement in Health Literacy” award from the Institute for Healthcare Advancement.
You can view the guide at
A randomized control trial found that people who received the guide significantly improved their knowledge about Medi-Cal choices and benefits, compared with people who did not receive it. They also felt more confident about their ability to choose the plan that would best suit their needs.