Medi-Cal / Medicaid Services:

Medi-Cal is a combined federal and California State program designed to help pay for medical care for public assistance recipients and other low-income persons.  Although Medi-Cal recipients may receive Medicare, the Medi-Cal program is not related to the Medicare program.  Medi-Cal is a need- based program and is funded jointly with state and federal Medicaid funds.

Medi-Cal Eligibility:

SSI and other categorically related recipients are automatically eligible.  Others, whose income would make them ineligible for public benefits, may also qualify as "medically needy" if their income and resources are within the Medi-Cal limits, (current resource limit is $2,000 for a single individual). This includes:

  • Low-income persons who are 65 or over, blind or disabled may qualify for the Aged and Disabled Federal Poverty Level Program
  • Medically indigent adults in skilled nursing or intermediate care or those who qualify for Medi-Cal funded home and community-based waiver programs.

Share of Cost (SOC):

The State sets a "maintenance need standard".  Since January 1, 1990 the maintenance need standard for a single elderly/disabled person in the community has been $600 monthly; the Long-Term Care maintenance need level (i.e., personal needs allowance when someone is in a nursing home) remains at $35 monthly for each person.

Individuals whose net monthly income is higher than the state payment rate may qualify for the program if they pay or agree to pay a portion of their income on monthly medical costs.  This is called the Share of Cost (SOC). Individuals eligible with a share of cost must pay or take responsibility for a portion of their medical bills each month before they receive coverage.  Medi-Cal then pays the remainder, provided the Medi-Cal program covers the services.  This works much like an insurance deductible.  The amount of the share of cost is equal to the difference between the "maintenance need standard" and the individual's net non-exempt monthly income.