Medi-Cal Overview

Medi-Cal is a program that offers free or low-cost health coverage for children and adults with limited income and resources.

Who is eligible for Medi-Cal?

Medi-Cal covers low-income adults, families with children, seniors, persons with disabilities, pregnant women, children in foster care and former foster youth up to age 26.

What is the difference between Covered California and Medi-Cal?

Medi-Cal offers low-cost or free health coverage to eligible Californian residents with limited income. Covered California is the state’s health insurance marketplace where Californians can shop for health plans and access financial assistance if they qualify for it. Health plans available through Medi-Cal and Covered California both offer a similar set of important benefits, called essential health benefits.

How can I apply for Medi-Cal?

You can apply online on CoveredCA.com. This single application will let you know if you qualify for coverage through Covered California or Medi-Cal. You can also apply in person at your local county human services agency or by phone by calling Covered California at (800) 300-1506. If you need help applying or have questions, you can Find Help for free. Find a certified enroller in your area.

After Applying

Once you submit your application, it will be sent to your local county human services agency for a determination if you seem likely to qualify for Medi-Cal. If more information is needed, the county will contact you. During the next 45 days, the county will mail you a notice telling you if you qualify for Medi-Cal. If you are eligible, you will receive a Medi-Cal benefits identification card (BIC) in the mail (if you do not already have one). You will also receive an informational packet in the mail that explains the available Medi-Cal health plan options in your county and how to enroll.

When you first qualify for Medi-Cal, you can use your BIC to get services under fee-for-service (also called regular Medi-Cal).

Please only apply once. If you have applied, but have not yet received a BIC or been contacted by your human services agency, please contact your local county human services agency by phone or visit in person to follow up on your application.

If you are no longer eligible for Medi-Cal, contact Covered California.

If you get a Medi-Cal Notice of Action telling you that you or a member of your household no longer qualifies for Medi-Cal due to changes in income or your household, you may enroll in a health plan through Covered California, but you must act fast.

You only have 60 days from the date listed in the Medi-Cal Notice of Action to enroll in Covered California under special enrollment. To avoid a gap in your health coverage, let us help you select a new plan before your Medi-Cal coverage ends. We can also tell you if you qualify for financial help to lower your costs.

Call (800) 300-1506 to speak to a certified enroller or find a certified enroller in your area.

Not eligible for Medi-Cal or Covered California?

If you are uninsured and are not eligible for Medi-Cal or a plan through Covered California, you may qualify for limited health services offered by your county. These programs are not insurance plans and do not provide full coverage. County health programs are commonly known as “county indigent health” or programs “medically indigent adult” programs.

Each county has different rules and services for these programs. Find out more about your county's health program here. If your county does not appear on the list, search for the “medically indigent” program in your county.