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Covered California and Obamacare related questions from consumers, employers and agents are answered by Phil Daigle with the best information available at the time. Archived entries may no longer be accurate as the Covered California and Obamacare knowledge-base is evolving quickly. TO REQUEST A PERSONAL RESPONSE INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS.

Can't Get Medi-Cal?

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Question: I am 51-years old, a self-employed gardener and in good health. Due to pride and principle, I’ve never had Medi-Cal. According to my attempt to enroll, the Covered California website said I qualified for Medi-Cal. However, I filled out paperwork and the department informed me that I cannot get Medi-Cal, because I have a self-employed IRA. It’s only around $19. I was told to close it out. We can’t live long on that and I will never retired. The department told me that I’d have to liquidate my IRA before I could be eligible for Med-Cal. I will not. That IRA is all my wife, who is disabled and on MediCare, and I have to retire on’ if I ever could. What should I do?

Answer: Obamacare changed the Medi-Cal eligibility rules. Your assets are no longer a factor. Apply through Covered California. They use the same application, whether online or paper as for exchange coverage. Medi-Cal applicants who are going directly to county health services offices are still being put through old application process (apparently with no explanation that things will change on January 1). For verification of my answer see CA Dept of Health Services online FAQ. Many thanks to Freelancer for pointing out this source.


If I apply for Medi-Cal because of income, can my current insurance plan disqualify me?

Here is more info for Non-MAGI folks regarding income and asset limits. This is the latest info I found. http://www.cahealthadvocates.org/low-income/medi-cal.html

ONLY the elderly and the disabled are subject to the asset limit of $2,000. No other Californians are disqualified for Medi-Cal or for subsidies, even if they are millionaires, so long as they fall within the income limits.

The elderly and the disabled are still subject to the $2000 asset limit, even if their income is well below the poverty-level.

The elderly and the disabled referred to as the non-MAGI. There is no help for paying Medicare Part B premium until asset limit is under $2000. This while people with incomes as high as 400% of poverty can get premium assistance without being subject to any asset limit.

The $2000 asset limit is ridiculous as it puts one in a very vulnerable position.

This is unjust and unfair to the most vulnerable segment of the population. Why asset limit for those likely to have the lowest fixed income?

Regarding assest limitations- where are the specific Medi-Cal Covered Califorinia SITES clarifying the asset requirementor the non-Magi Medi-Cal asset requirement info? If you don’t have an actual documentation from Medi-cal, it’s just talking out your a-s, Gold Coast.

Non-MAGI are still subject to the asset test. The non-MAGI Medi-Cal population will include the elderly, disabled, long-term care, and individuals deemed eligible for Medi-Cal as a result of other programs such as CalWORKs or foster care. Non-MAGI are still subject to the asset test. Undocumented individuals remain eligible for emergency and restricted-scope Medi-Cal.

Covered CA recently decided to pay Agents $58 per Medi-Cal enrollment.

As of January 1, there will be more than one route to Medi-Cal/Medicaid. One will be via the exchanges, with no asset test. But the other routes to coverage will still exist, as well as the asset test.

An income of $17,000 annually for an individual (1-person household) would be too high to qualify for Medi-Cal under ACA — the cutoff currently is about $15,850.

I think this web page from the California Department of Health Care Services might clarify things: http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/services/medi-cal/eligibility/Pages/Medi-CalEligibility2014.aspx

I’ve read that California kept the asset limit for Medi-Cal even though Medicaid no longer requires it in 2014. I have assets over the Medi-Cal Limit.

I have Not completed the application yet (proof of residency) but indications are that

my individual premium will be nearly 100% subsidized by the Feds on income of 17,000.

CC pays commission to the agent submitted Medi-Cal application? Until now, I got many applications for Medi-Cal.

Simon, it sounds like you were on the Covered California web site and then you went to the MediCal web site (or real world office) to apply for immediate coverage.

It doesn’t work that way because the new rules which disregard assets are effective on January 1st, and I believe that you will need to complete the application through Covered California to get MediCal. I don’t know the logistics of how it works but I do know that it is supposed to be a streamlined approach where the same application is used for both exchange policies and enrolling people in MediCal.

So I agree with Phil: call the Covered California number (NOT the MediCal number) and ask them how you complete the application.

“Obamacare changed the Medi-Cal eligibility rules. Your assets are no longer a factor.”

Apparently either the Medi-Cal folks do not know this new rule (which is an impossibility) or they simply choose to ignore it when people attempt to apply. There isn’t a mention of it on their new website and when people apply online, it will still ask for your current asset and tell you that you do not qualify for Medi-Cal. Nothing is updated.

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