Medi-Cal Eligibility and Covered California - Frequently Asked Questions
Back to Medi-Cal FAQs 2014
Below you will find the most frequently asked questions for current and potential Medi-Cal coverage recipients. If you do not find an answer to your question, please contact your local county office from our
County Listings page or email us at Medi-Cal Contact Us.
1. What eligibility requirements will an undocumented person have to meet come 2014?
An undocumented person must meet the same eligibility requirements as any other beneficiary such as income limits and California residency in 2014.
2. Does everyone on the application have to be a U.S. citizen or U.S. national?
No. You may qualify for health insurance through Medi-Cal even if you are not a U.S. citizen or a U.S. national.
3. Will I qualify for health insurance if I am not a citizen or do not have satisfactory immigration status?
You do not have to be a citizen or have satisfactory immigration status to qualify for Medi-Cal. You may qualify for Medi-Cal coverage of emergency and pregnancy-related services if you meet all of the eligibility requirements but do not have a satisfactory immigration status. Immigrants who have a satisfactory immigration status and meet all eligibility requirements can qualify for full Medi-Cal coverage.
4. Will undocumented immigrants be eligible for full-scope Medi-Cal?
An immigrant who meets all eligibility requirements, but is not in a satisfactory immigration status for full scope Medi-Cal is entitled to emergency and pregnancy-related services and, when needed, state-funded long-term care.
5. Where can I get information about becoming registered to vote?
If you are not registered to vote where you live now and would like to apply to register to vote today please visit this website or call 1-800-345-VOTE (8683).
6. Will the information I provide for health coverage be used to verify my immigration status?
Immigration status is verified for documented immigrants who want Medi-Cal and claim to be in a satisfactory immigration status for full scope Medi-Cal. This information is only used to verify status for Medi-Cal eligibility purposes.
Can people on H-1 visas, including those who have lived legally in the country for fewer than 5 years, enroll in Medi-Cal?
Yes. In general, anyone can apply for Medi-Cal. A person on an H1 visa is a temporary worker or trainee. As long as they are living and working in California and provide evidence of that, they can meet California residency. If they meet all other eligibility requirements, they will be eligible for restricted scope Medi-Cal limited to emergency and pregnancy related services. It does not matter how long they have lived in the United States. If they meet all eligibility requirements they will be eligible for restricted scope Medi-Cal.
8. Can green card holders, including those who have lived legally in the US for fewer than 5 years, enroll in Medi-Cal?
Yes. A lawful permanent resident (green card holder) is eligible for Medi-Cal regardless of their date of entry if they meet all other eligibility requirements. Under current Medi-Cal policy, eligible green card holders get full scope Medi-Cal in California even if they have been in the United States for less than 5 years.
1. Can I get health insurance even if my income is too high?
Yes. Any Californian who qualifies can purchase private health insurance through Covered California regardless of income. We use your income to help us find the health insurance that is most affordable for your family.
2. I don't make a lot of money. What programs are available to help me get health insurance?
Starting on January 1, 2014, people who need health insurance may be able to get help in one of these ways:
Premium assistance: Premium assistance is available to help make health insurance affordable. People who qualify for premium assistance may take them in advance (before they file taxes) to make their monthly premiums lower. Or they can take them at the end of the year and pay less in taxes. The amount of assistance for monthly premiums depends upon your household size and family income.
Medi-Cal: Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program, paid for with federal and state taxes. It’s health insurance for low-income California residents who meet certain requirements. If your income is within the Medi-Cal limits for your family size, you will receive Medi-Cal coverage at no cost to you.
3. If my income changes, will my premium assistance change immediately?
No, your premium assistance will not change immediately. We will process any new information we have. And, we will tell you if the amount of your premium assistance changes.
4. If my income changes, how will the change affect me when I file my taxes?
It is important to report income changes to Covered California that impact the amount of premium assistance (or tax credits) that you receive. If your income decreases, you may qualify to receive a higher amount of premium assistance and reduce your out-of-pocket expenses even more. However, if your income increases, you may receive too much premium assistance and may be required to repay some of it back when you file your taxes for the benefit year.
5. What if I didn’t file taxes last year?
If you didn't file taxes last year, you can still apply for health insurance and get premium assistance. We will use your income to help us find the health insurance that is most affordable for you and your family. If you qualify for premium assistance, you must file taxes for the benefit year.
6. What if my income changes after I apply for health coverage?
If your income changes, it may change what kind of health insurance you qualify for. If you have private health insurance through Covered California, call to report any change in your income that may affect your eligibility within 30 days. If you have Medi-Cal and your income changes, contact your county social services office within 10 days.
If an adult is claimed as a tax dependent by their parents, will their parents income count towards the dependent adult’s income for eligibility?
Yes. The adult who expects to be claimed as a tax dependent by his/her parents will have his parents income counted when determining income eligibility under the MAGI methodology. Federal regulatory reference is 42 CFR 435.603(f)(2).