What Is Medi-Cal?


Quick Answer

Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program. It provides medical benefits for a variety of medical procedures and services for state residents with limited income and resources. To receive Medi-Cal benefits, individuals must apply for enrollment at their local county human services agency or online at the Covered California website. Medi-Cal is supported equally by federal and local taxes.

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Full Answer

As a public health insurance program, Medi-Cal provides necessary health care services for California residents who are classified as low-income, disabled, pregnant or suffering from breast cancer, HIV/AIDS or tuberculosis. The program offers 21 different health plans that vary depending on the county in which the applicant resides.

Benefits provided by the program are offered without a premium, co-payment or out of pocket cost. Plans provided under Medi-Cal include a comprehensive set of benefits regarded as “essential health benefits.” These benefits consist of emergency services, hospitalization, outpatient services, prescription drugs, maternity and newborn care, laboratory services, substance abuse and mental health disorder services, pediatric services, chronic disease management and preventive and wellness services.

Enrollment requirements revolve around income, age, disability and the general health of the applicant. Medi-Cal requires applicants to fall within at least 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. As of 2014, the baseline income requirement for an individual was an annual income of $16,105 or below. Individuals earning more than $16,105 per year may be eligible for Medi-Cal if they are blind, under 21 or over 65 years of age, pregnant, disabled or belonging to a nursing or intermediate care home.

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