Income Qualifications for Medi-Cal

Medi-Cal provides health care insurance for low-income individuals in the state of California who meet income limits for the program. Learn more about Medi-Cal and whether you qualify for coverage.

How to Become Eligible for Medi-Cal

In general, qualifying for Medi-Cal is based on income. Since California has expanded its Medicaid program, adults must meet Medi-Cal income limits, meaning that a household must earn less than 138% of the federal poverty level (FPL).

The size of your household affects the maximum income you can earn to qualify. For example, if you lived on your own in 2022, earning $18,755 annually would put you at 138% of the FPL. This number changes for a family of five, making you ineligible if you earned more than $44,809 that year.

However, while household income is the general requirement, certain individuals can qualify through other means. These may include pregnancy, disability, limited refugee status, enrollment in a foster care program or other factors.

Medi-Cal and Medicare are not the same, as Medicare is a separate program with different requirements. Because the latter has nationwide availability, there are no income or state residency requirements. You qualify for Medicare when you turn 65 or if you have a disability. If you meet the requirements for both programs — turning 65 with a low income — you can dually enroll in both Medicare and Medi-Cal.

Providing Proof of Income Eligibility

When applying for Medi-Cal, you must submit proof of income eligibility. Any of the following documents are accepted:

  • A copy of the most recent pay stub from your employer or employers
  • A signed statement about your position from an employer if a pay stub is unavailable
  • Schedule C if self-employed
  • A copy of a benefits stub or awards letter for proof of unemployment or disability
  • Documentation of paid benefits or an award letter for social security benefits

Along with documentation of your income, you will need to provide identity documents, tax information and other paperwork. You can apply for Medi-Cal by mail, online or in person. Regardless of which option you choose, it is important to provide as much information as possible. If you select the mailing route, please mail copies of your proof documents instead of the originals.

Benefits of Medi-Cal

Depending on how you qualify, you can get benefits through Medi-Cal. Be sure to refer to your coverage plan for more information on what is and may not be covered. Whether you are fully covered or partially covered, Medi-Cal can help with medically necessary care, including:

  • Outpatient services
  • Hospitalization
  • Emergency services
  • Mental health treatment
  • Maternity and newborn care
  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Preventive care
  • Chronic disease management
  • Prescription medications

Apply for a Medi-Cal Quote Today

Once you find out that you have met the qualifications for Medi-Cal, apply for a quote through Health for California today. The application process is simple and straightforward, and you can complete it from the comfort of your home. If you have any questions about the application or what comes after, the team at Health for California is ready to assist you!

Not sure how Obamacare affects your health care plans in California? Learn how the ACA works in California, including benefits, costs and enrollment.

Covered California is the Golden State’s official health exchange marketplace where individuals, families and small businesses can find high-quality, low-cost California government health insurance.

Learn about Obamacare income guidelines in California using our income limits chart, and see if you’re eligible for government assistance.

Learn about the Covered California website. Find easy online enrollment. Set up your account, log in, buy insurance and more on the California health marketplace website.