Medi-Cal Benefits and Planning
What is Medi-Cal?
Medi-Cal is California's version of Medicaid, a federally supported but state-administered health care program. Medi-Cal is thus a combined federal and California program. This program pays for a variety of medical services for children and adults with limited income and resources.
Medi-Cal is designed to help pay for the medical care of public assistance recipients and other low-income people with few assets. It is governed by the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) but administered at the local level by county departments of social services.
Medicare, however, is a federal program that provides medical benefits for the elderly and disabled. A crucial difference between Medicare and Medi-Cal coverage is that Medicare makes only limited payments for skilled nursing home care, while Medi-Cal pays for nursing home care indefinitely.
Who is eligible?
People in many different situations qualify for Medi-Cal. You may automatically be eligible for Medi-Cal if you receive cash assistance under SSI/SSP. Even if you don't receive cash assistance, you or a relative of yours may be eligible for Medi-Cal if you or your relative are one of the following:
- 65 or older
- Under 21
- Diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer
- In a skilled nursing or intermediate care facility.
- Parent or caretaker relative of a child under 21 and
- The child's parent is deceased or does not live with the child, or
- The child's parent is incapacitated, or
- The child's parent who is the primary wage earner is unemployed or underemployed.
How to apply for Medi-Cal?
While you may contact your local county social services office for assistance, it is highly recommended that you make an appointment with our law office for assistance and representation. The process and qualification requirements are long and complicated, and navigating through the paperwork and legal procedures on your own can be extremely difficult.