Health Coverage Options for Pregnant Women

Pregnancy is an important time for women to get the services they need as early in the pregnancy as possible. In California, there are several options for uninsured pregnant women to get health coverage. Eligibility for the different options depends on income level and citizenship or immigration status. These options include Covered California health insurance plans and the following Medi-Cal programs:

  • Presumptive Eligibility for Pregnant Women — temporary coverage up to 60 days.
  • Full-coverage Medi-Cal — no-cost coverage.
  • Pregnancy-related Medi-Cal — no-cost coverage.
  • Medi-Cal Access Program — low-cost coverage.

You may be eligible for both Medi-Cal and Covered California during your pregnancy and immediate postpartum, depending on your income. In this case, when you apply through the Covered California enrollment portal you will be enrolled in Covered California coverage if you qualify, and your application will also be sent to Medi-Cal in your county. Although you may be eligible for both programs, most women choose to enroll in just one.

If your income is over the Medi-Cal limit, you may be eligible for both the Medi-Cal Access Program and Covered California during your pregnancy and immediate postpartum. You cannot have the Medi-Cal Access Program and Covered California at the same time; you must make a choice.

Here are some key points to consider when deciding between Medi-Cal, the Medi-Cal Access Program and Covered California during your pregnancy:

Cost:

  • Medi-Cal and the Medi-Cal Access Program may be less expensive than Covered California coverage.
  • If you enroll in both Medi-Cal and Covered California, you will have to pay your portion of the Covered California premiums even if you also enroll in Medi-Cal.
  • A Covered California plan requires deductibles and copayments for hospital labor and delivery services. Medi-Cal and the Medi-Cal Access Program do not.

Providers:

  • If you are currently in a Covered California health insurance plan and decide to switch to Medi-Cal, check to see if your provider accepts Medi-Cal.
  • If you are not currently insured, you can start seeing a doctor, a nurse midwife or another provider with Medi-Cal Presumptive Eligibility before Medi-Cal starts. You can search for the nearest Presumptive Eligibility provider.

For even more information, please see the fact sheet about pregnancy coverage options.

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