If you have recently moved to California, you may have heard good things about its health care plan known as Medi-Cal. You may wonder if you are eligible to apply.
While the program says it is for “Californians,” they mean anyone residing here legally. So if you were born in another state or country, that does not automatically preclude you.
How do they define California residency?
You need to be physically within the state to apply. You also need to be either:
- Already living or intending to live here on a permanent or indefinite basis. So, if you are just here for six months on a contract, then you would need to look at the equivalent program in your home state.
- Have entered with a job offer, or with the intention to seek work, regardless of whether you found one or not.
What about my children?
Children are usually considered under their parents’ residency status. Exceptions can be made however, if parents intend for their children to stay here indefinitely and have made arrangements for that to happen if they cannot be here themselves the whole time.
What if I do not have legal status to be in the country?
The rules are changing on this. Currently, people aged 25 or under who lack legal resident status can apply for coverage, but those over 25 cannot. Plans exist for that coverage to extend in 2024 to people up to the age of 49.
That’s just a brief overview and the rules are incredibly complex. If you need to apply for Medi-Cal and have concerns over your eligibility, it is best to get legal guidance first.