For many non-US citizens living in California, getting access to affordable healthcare can be a daunting challenge. One of the questions that often comes up is whether non-US citizens can get Medi-Cal insurance, the state’s Medicaid program.
The answer is not a straightforward one. While Medi-Cal is primarily designed to help low-income Californians, including citizens and legal residents, there are certain circumstances under which non-US citizens may be eligible for the program. In this article, we’ll dig into the details of Medi-Cal eligibility for non-US citizens and explore some of the factors that may impact your ability to enroll in the program.
- 1 Undocumented in California? Learn about Medi-Cal Eligibility
- 2 Health Insurance Options for Non-Citizens in the US
- 3 Getting Medi-Cal Without a Social Security Number: What You Need to Know
Undocumented in California? Learn about Medi-Cal Eligibility
Undocumented immigrants residing in California face numerous challenges, one of which is access to healthcare. However, Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program, provides healthcare coverage to eligible low-income individuals, including undocumented immigrants. If you are undocumented in California, it is important to understand the Medi-Cal eligibility criteria.
Medi-Cal Eligibility for Undocumented Immigrants
Undocumented immigrants are not eligible for full-scope Medi-Cal coverage. However, they may be eligible for emergency and pregnancy-related services under restricted-scope Medi-Cal coverage. Emergency services include treatment for a sudden and severe medical condition, while pregnancy-related services include prenatal, delivery, and postpartum care.
Medi-Cal for Children
Undocumented children under the age of 19 may be eligible for full-scope Medi-Cal coverage if they meet the eligibility criteria. This includes children who are currently in foster care, receiving adoption assistance, or receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Medi-Cal for DACA Recipients
DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients who meet the eligibility criteria may be eligible for full-scope Medi-Cal coverage. This includes individuals who have received DACA status, have resided in California for at least five years, and meet the income requirements.
How to Apply for Medi-Cal
Undocumented immigrants may apply for restricted-scope Medi-Cal coverage by completing the emergency Medi-Cal application or the pregnancy-related Medi-Cal application. Undocumented children may apply for full-scope Medi-Cal coverage using the standard Medi-Cal application.
Health Insurance Options for Non-Citizens in the US
Non-citizens living in the US may face challenges when it comes to accessing healthcare. However, there are options available that can provide coverage for medical expenses. Here are some health insurance options for non-citizens in the US:
1. Employer-sponsored health insurance: Some employers offer health insurance plans to their employees, regardless of their citizenship status. If you are employed in the US, it’s worth checking with your employer if they offer health insurance benefits.
2. Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans: Non-citizens who are lawfully present in the US can enroll in ACA plans. These plans are available through the Health Insurance Marketplace and offer coverage for essential health benefits such as doctor visits, hospitalization, and prescription drugs. However, non-citizens are not eligible for premium tax credits or cost-sharing reductions.
3. Medicaid: Medicaid is a government-funded program that provides health insurance to low-income individuals and families. Non-citizens who meet eligibility requirements, such as having a certain immigration status and meeting income guidelines, may be eligible for Medicaid coverage.
4. Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP): CHIP provides health insurance to children in families who do not qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford private insurance. Non-citizen children who are lawfully present in the US may be eligible for CHIP coverage.
5. Short-term health insurance: Short-term health insurance plans are designed to provide temporary coverage for individuals who are between jobs or waiting for other coverage to start. Non-citizens may be eligible for short-term health insurance, but these plans typically do not cover pre-existing conditions and may offer limited benefits.
6. Private health insurance: Non-citizens can also purchase private health insurance plans from insurance companies. However, these plans can be expensive and may not cover pre-existing conditions.
It’s important to note that non-citizens who are not lawfully present in the US are not eligible for most health insurance options, including Medicaid and ACA plans. However, some states offer emergency Medicaid coverage for non-citizens who need emergency medical treatment.
It’s important to research and compare different plans to find the best coverage for your individual needs and budget.
Getting Medi-Cal Without a Social Security Number: What You Need to Know
Medi-Cal is a healthcare program for low-income individuals and families in California. While having a Social Security Number (SSN) is typically required to enroll in Medi-Cal, there are certain circumstances where individuals without an SSN may still be eligible for coverage.
Who Can Get Medi-Cal Without a Social Security Number?
If you do not have an SSN, you may still be able to get Medi-Cal if you:
- Are pregnant
- Are under the age of 19
- Are a refugee or asylee
- Have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
- Are a victim of trafficking, torture, or other serious crimes
- Are receiving long-term care services
- Are a student from another country with a valid visa
If you fall into one of these categories and meet certain income requirements, you may be eligible for Medi-Cal coverage.
What Documents Do You Need to Apply?
When applying for Medi-Cal without an SSN, you will need to provide alternative documentation to verify your identity and income. Acceptable documents may include:
- Passport or consular ID
- Birth certificate
- Driver’s license or state ID from your home country
- Pay stubs or tax returns
- Utility bills or rental agreements
It is important to note that Medi-Cal eligibility is based on your current income, not your immigration status. You will not be asked about your immigration status when applying for Medi-Cal.
How to Apply for Medi-Cal Without a Social Security Number
If you think you may be eligible for Medi-Cal without an SSN, you can apply online, by mail, or in person. You will need to provide all required documentation with your application.
To apply, visit the Covered California website or call 1-800-300-1506 to request an application by mail. You can also visit your local county human services agency to apply in person.
While having a Social Security Number is typically required to enroll in Medi-Cal, there are certain circumstances where individuals without an SSN may still be eligible for coverage. If you think you may qualify, be sure to gather all necessary documentation and apply as soon as possible to get the healthcare coverage you need.
Medi-Cal and Immigration Status: What You Need to Know
Medi-Cal is a California state program that provides health insurance to low-income individuals and families. However, eligibility for Medi-Cal is determined by a variety of factors, including immigration status.
Who is eligible for Medi-Cal?
Medi-Cal is available to individuals and families who meet certain income requirements. In addition, individuals must be a U.S. citizen or have a qualified immigration status, such as:
- Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR/Green Card holders)
- Individuals with Special Immigrant Status
- Cuban/Haitian Entrants
- Victims of Human Trafficking and Other Crimes
- Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders
- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients
What about undocumented immigrants?
Undocumented immigrants are not eligible for Medi-Cal, even if they meet the income requirements. However, there are other programs and resources available to help undocumented individuals access healthcare.
What if someone in my family is undocumented?
If someone in your family is undocumented, their immigration status will not affect the eligibility of other family members who are U.S. citizens or have a qualified immigration status. They can still apply for Medi-Cal and receive benefits if they meet the income requirements.
What if my immigration status changes?
If your immigration status changes, you may become eligible or ineligible for Medi-Cal. It is important to report any changes in your immigration status to the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) as soon as possible.
What if I have more questions?
If you have questions about your eligibility for Medi-Cal based on your immigration status, you can contact the California DHCS directly or speak with a licensed insurance agent who specializes in Medi-Cal.
While undocumented immigrants are not eligible, there are still resources available to help individuals access healthcare.
Non US citizens may be eligible for Medi-Cal insurance coverage, provided that they meet certain eligibility criteria. It’s essential to carefully review the requirements and documentation needed to apply for Medi-Cal, as they can vary depending on the applicant’s immigration status and income level. Consulting with a healthcare navigator or an immigration lawyer can be helpful in navigating the application process. Regardless of citizenship status, everyone deserves access to quality healthcare, and Medi-Cal is a vital resource for those who need it.