Medi-Cal: Why Is It The Best Option For Uninsured Californians

April 14, 2023

If you live in Riverside County and aren't covered by insurance, you may be eligible for Medicaid. This combined federal and state initiative helps many low-income persons.

Eligibility is based on income, assets and healthcare needs. Applying can be done in person, online, or by mail.

Health Care Needs

The healthcare needs of individuals and families vary greatly. Some people need low-cost healthcare, while others require medical treatment for severe illnesses or injuries. Regardless of your situation, many resources in Riverside County can help you find the health care services you need at a price you can afford.

If you're looking to apply for Medicaid in Riverside County, the first step is to determine your eligibility. You can get information about whether or not you qualify for Riverside County Medi-Cal services.

Alternatively, you can call or visit your local social service agency and request a Medi-Cal application. You can submit your application online if you cannot see the office.

It's important to note that to qualify for Medi-Cal, you must be a county resident and be below a certain income level. You can contact the Riverside County Department of Social Services to learn more if you need clarification on whether you meet the criteria.

The best option for those needing health insurance may be to apply for Medi-Cal. The program will pay for all or part of your health insurance costs. It will provide access to preventative care, emergency and hospital services, prescription medications, dental, vision, mental health, laboratory and x-rays, and occupational and physical therapies. You can also learn more about your options by visiting the marketplace website.

Eligibility

Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program that helps people with limited income and resources get health care. It provides medical, dental and mental health services to low-income people who may not otherwise have access to affordable coverage. Federal and state taxes support the program.

Eligibility requirements for Medi-Cal are based on your income, assets, and health needs. It is a year-round application process, and eligibility can take up to 45 days to determine.

The Riverside County Welfare Department administers the county's local Medi-Cal program under guidelines set by California State law. It also manages food stamp programs and welfare (TANF) for low-income families.

To apply for Medi-Cal, you must provide a valid ID, proof of income and assets, immigration information, and proof of your California residency. Knowing the exact documentation you will need before applying is essential, so start early and make copies of everything to bring with you when you use it.

In Riverside County, residents can qualify for Medi-Cal if they are aged 50 or older and don't have health insurance. The new statewide expansion of Medi-Cal is expected to benefit an additional 185,000 Californians, including at least 10,000 in the county.

Income

In Riverside County, Medicaid eligibility is based on a person's income. A typical income requirement is 138% of the U.S. government's determined Federal Poverty Level (FPL). However, this might vary. Census Bureau and annually adjusted for inflation.

However, each state runs its program with its own rules regarding income and assets. You should check with your state's agency if you are unsure what income you need to qualify for Medicaid in Riverside County.

For example, a single adult with no dependents can earn up to $25,520 per year, and a couple with two children can make up to $52,400. It is a basic income limit that the state can change annually.

The income required for eligibility for Medicaid in Riverside County can be lower than that of many other assistance programs. In addition to providing cash benefits, these programs include non-cash resources such as child care and job training.

The income limit for Medicaid eligibility may be reduced if you have other assets. These assets include cash, stocks, money market accounts, life insurance policies, and second homes or cars. If your total countable assets exceed $2,000, you may be ineligible for Medicaid. The state's spend-down provision allows you to use qualifying medical expenses to reduce your countable income.

Assets

Assets are a critical component of the Medicaid eligibility process. Federal law determines a benchmark for the number of resources an individual may own to qualify for Medicaid.

Countable assets include cash, bank accounts, IRAs, investments, real property and vehicles. Noncountable assets are not taxable for income tax purposes and can be purchased with money or proceeds from other sources of income.

Homeownership is essential in the Medicaid process as it is one of the few assets considered exempt from the countable asset limit. However, if the applicant or their spouse decides they do not want to live in their primary residence or will no longer be living there for medical reasons, the home is valued as part of their assets and can be sold to pay for their healthcare.

Other essential items generally not counted for eligibility purposes are irrevocable burial plans, funeral space, and burial merchandise. In addition, certain types of insurance and personal property are not counted as resources. Another critical aspect of the asset test is the applicant's income. 

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Emiy Watson

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