Briefs & Reports

Share of Cost Medi-Cal

California Healthcare Foundation

Kathy D. Gifford
Lisa S. Maiuro, PhD

This issue brief examines the role of share of cost Medi-Cal in California. Contrary to common misperception, most of the 7 million Californians covered under Medi-Cal do not qualify for cash assistance (also known as “welfare”) through CalWORKs or SSI. Many qualify in other ways, such as through programs for working families with incomes below the poverty level, or programs targeting children, pregnant women, seniors, and people with disabilities. In addition to these programs, share of cost Medi-Cal provides benefits for individuals and families with incomes too high to qualify for cash assistance, but too low to cover their health care costs.

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