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Medi-Cal – Most Asked Questions & Useful Links

Most Asked Questions

1. What is Medi-Cal?

Medi-Cal offers free or low-cost health coverage for California residents who meet eligibility requirements. Most applicants who apply through Covered California and enroll in Medi-Cal will receive care through managed health plans.

Medi-Cal has always covered low-income children, pregnant women, and families. When you complete a Covered California application, your eligibility for Medi-Cal will automatically be determined. You can apply for Medi-Cal benefits regardless of your sex, race, religion, color, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, age, disability, immigration or veteran status.

2. What are the requirements to be eligible for Medi-Cal?

Medi-Cal has several different programs, so each person’s circumstances are unique, but in general, anyone can apply. You must also be a resident of Ventura County, and willing to provide your Social Security number, immigration/citizenship status, and have verification of identity. Your caseworker will let you know what other information needs to be provided, depending on the program(s) you are eligible for.

3. How do I apply?

You can apply online on BenefitsCal.com or by mail, phone, or in-person. Learn more here.

4. Where are your offices located and what are your hours of operation? 

Community Service Center offices are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you would like to schedule an appointment to meet with a worker, you may call 888-472-4463.   

5. What verifications are necessary when applying for Medi-Cal?

Individuals applying for Medi-Cal must provide proof of:

  • Social Security Number if you have one
  • California Residency
  • Age
  • Income
  • Citizenship/legal resident status
  • Number of people in your household and tax filing status
  • Other Health Coverage
  • If you have a child with an absent parent, you may be asked to co-operate with the Dept. of Child Support
    Services for Medical support.
  • Property Disability
  • Medicare

6. Who qualifies for Medi-Cal?

Individuals who are potentially eligible for Zero Share of Cost Medi-Cal include those who are:

  • A California Resident, and
  • In a household with Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) below 138% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) for adults and 160% FPL for children.
  • Note: Income levels are different for pregnant women and disabled or elderly populations.
  • If you have questions about public charge and how receiving benefits might impact your immigration status, learn more at: Resources to Help with Interpretation of Public Charge Rule

7. Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to be eligible?

Beginning January 1, 2024, all adults can qualify for full-scope Medi-Cal, regardless of immigration status. All other Medi-Cal eligibility rules, including income limits, will still apply. Learn more about the Medi-Cal expansion here. 

8. What are the income standards for Medi-Cal?

The more income you have, the more you may have to pay as a Share of Cost (SOC) before Medi-Cal helps pay for your medical bills. If your income is too high to qualify for Medi-Cal, then you may be eligible for tax credits that are applied immediately to your monthly premium when you enroll in a health plan through other health insurance programs through Covered California

9. What are the property standards for Medi-Cal?

Beginning in 2024, a new law in California eliminated the asset limit for Medi-Cal programs. Applications will not ask for asset information starting on January 1, 2024. Medi-Cal will consider income information but will not consider assets, such as property.

11. I am homeless could I still be eligible for benefits?

Yes, if you meet all the other criteria for Medi-Cal benefits. You will be asked to provide a contact address/phone number, or you may use the Community Service Center address if you cannot provide an alternate contact.

12. If I receive Supplemental Security Income/State Supplemental Payment (SSI/SSP) am I eligible for

Yes, the State of California automatically provides Medi-Cal for SSI/SSP recipients. You know you receive SSI/SSP benefits if you receive your Social Security benefits on the first of the month. You do not need to apply for Medi-Cal separately. If you receive regular Social Security and receive your benefits on the third of the month or after, you must apply for Medi-Cal separately. See #3 above.

13. If I am approved to receive benefits, how do I access them?

Medi-Cal benefits are accessed through a Benefit Identification Card (BIC). The BIC works much like any other insurance card. The medical provider will be able to tell whether you are eligible if you have other insurance that must be billed first and how much your Share of Cost (SOC) is if any. You should show your BIC anytime you receive medical services or prescriptions, even if you have a SOC. Always find out if the medical provider takes
Medi-Cal patients before you go for treatment.

14. What happens if my BIC card is not working?

The BIC may not work for various reasons, such as the card may not be active, or the requested services aren’t a Medi-Cal covered benefit. You may call 888-472-4463 for assistance.

15. What if I have lost my BIC card?

Request a benefit replacement card through BenefitsCal.com please allow about seven days to receive a new card in the mail, or go into your local office.  If you have an urgent need, you may call 888-472-4463.

16. What if I don’t think I am eligible can I still apply?

Yes, you may apply for Medi-Cal at any time.

17. I have questions about my Medi-Cal eligibility, who do I contact?

  • Get information online 24/7 at BenefitsCal.com
  • Call 1-888-472-4463, 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday to speak with a Client Benefit Specialist.

18. How much does Medi-Cal cost?

For many individuals who enroll in Medi-Cal, there is no premium, no co-payment, and no out of pocket cost. Some households will see affordable costs, such as a low monthly premium. For some Medi-Cal children, the monthly premiums are $13 per child up to a family maximum of $39 per month. In general, individuals in Medi-Cal will get the same health benefits available through Covered California at a lower cost.

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