How to Apply for Medicaid in California


If you are wondering, “Where do you sign up for Medi-Cal?” then you have already reviewed the eligibility requirements for Medicaid. Knowing how to apply for Medi-Cal in California is beneficial for low-income applicants who need assistance with medical costs. Submitting the Medi-Cal application properly is key to obtaining affordable health care coverage in a timely manner. The Medi-Cal application form requires petitioners to furnish personal and financial information about their household to determine entitlement.

Applying for Medi-Cal in California

Petitioners can apply for Medi-Cal online, via mail, over the phone or in person. To apply for Medi-Cal online, application will need to go to the state’s official health care market place website, Covered California. The online Medi-Cal application form is the most convenient method to request coverage. The online Medi-Cal application is the same as the one used for Covered California health care plans and will also apply to the County Children’s Health Initiative Program and Medi-Cal Access Program for minors and pregnant women, respectfully. The single application will let you know for which type of coverage you qualify.

Alternatively, you may mail a Medi-Cal application to the Covered California mailing address. You can also request coverage in person by visiting your local county human services agency. You can find where to apply for Medi-Cal in your county by checking online for local offices. There you will be able to get assistance filling in the appropriate forms and providing the necessary information. A representative can also review immediate Medicaid coverage and costs for those who need medical attention.

If you do not have access to the internet and are unable to travel to an agency, then you can submit an application by telephone. To apply for Medi-Cal over the phone, you will need to call during the call center hours. Find detailed information about methods of applying to Medi-Cal in our California guide here.

Information Needed to Complete a California Medi-Cal Application Form

Before starting on the Medi-Cal application form, make sure you have all of the necessary documentation on hand. No matter how you apply for Medi-Cal, whether online, in person or over the phone, you will need to furnish some personal information to conclude eligibility.

When you are filling out your Medi-Cal application, you will need to provide information about yourself as well as members of your household.

The application for Medi-Cal also requires you to provide some documentation in support of your claim. This includes proof of income such as your most recent paycheck, bank statements and the previous years’ tax returns. To assess your Medi-Cal applicationeligibility, officials will also need the Social Security Numbers for you and your family members. Non-citizens will need to provide immigration documentation. Applicants who are pregnant or have qualifying diagnoses may need to provide proof of medical status.

For a detailed list of documents to have before applying to Medicaid in California, download our guide here.

What Happens To Your California Medi-Cal Application Next

Once you apply for Medi-Cal online, by mail, over the phone or at your local county human services agency, your eligibility will be determined. If your Medi-Cal application form is missing information, the agency will contact you. Depending on your Medi-Cal application method, you will receive notification of eligibility within 45 days. If you are eligible for Medicaid in California, they will send you a Medi-Cal benefits identification card (BIC) and an information booklet that will explain what health insurance plans are available in your county and how to enroll with one. Once you have received your BIC, make sure you are aware of any Medicaid costs you are expected to pay for services. Remember, if your family income is below the Medi-Cal limit, you may not be expected to pay for any of the medical services you use. However, if your family income is above a certain threshold, you will be responsible for paying your share of the cost for medical services. Medi-Cal will pay the remaining medical expenses after you have paid your share.

You should only apply for Medi-Cal  once, as multiple applications can delay or have conflicting determinations. If you have already submitted a Medi-Cal application but have not received notification, you should contact your local agency either by phone or in person to enquire about the status of your application.

To learn more about Medi-Cal costs and coverage,download our comprehensive guide.

If Your California Medi-Cal Application is Denied

If your Medi-Cal application eligibility is denied, you will receive a Medi-Cal Notice of Action) explaining your rejection from the program. Your Medi-Cal application form may have indicated too high of an income to qualify or coverage for some of the household members but not all. You will not be able to re- apply for Medi-Cal until there have been changes to the reason for disqualification, such as a change in income or number of family members. If you wish to file an appeal related to your denied Medi-Cal application, then you should contact your county human services agency.

You should contact Covered California as soon as possible so you can enroll in a different insurance plan. You will only have 60 days from the date on the Medi-Cal Notice of Action to take advantage of the special enrollment in Covered California. The advisors at the human services agency can also help you choose a suitable plan and explain if you need financial assistance to lower or cover your fees. If your application for Medi-Cal is denied, you may still be eligible for health care subsidies.

What Are the Available Health Services in California?

Low-cost, and even free health benefits are available to a large number of California residents, with some being offered to low-income applicants and others being offered to elderly or disabled individuals. However, before you can access these health services, you need to submit the appropriate application and prove that you meet the necessary qualifications. To learn all about the different health benefits you can receive in California and the application procedures that you must undergo to obtain these benefits, download our free comprehensive guide.

Who Is Eligible to Obtain California Health Benefits?

California’s health programs have various eligibility requirements that applicants must meet in order to successfully enroll. Income, age and other factors are all taken into consideration in the eligibility verification process. Find out which health benefits you qualify for here.