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Is California Medi-Cal the Same as Medicaid?

Medi-Cal Planning Attorney in Moreno Valley CA: Medicaid vs Medi-Cal
Medi-Cal Planning Attorney in Moreno Valley CA: Medicaid vs Medi-Cal

Medicaid and Medi-Cal both come up during your research, but you’re not sure what they entail. Are they the same thing?

Medicaid became part of the Social Security Act in 1965. It was designed to provide health coverage for people who met the income requirements. As of January 2022, almost 80 million Americans were enrolled in Medicaid.

While Medicaid is a program managed and run by the federal government, each state manages its state plan. You may have heard of Medi-Cal and wondered what that is. Medi-Cal stands for Medicaid-California and is simply California’s Medicaid program.


What Does Medi-Cal Cover?

Families should be aware of what Medi-Cal covers, especially as a parent gets older. Medicare is available for health insurance, but people pay out of pocket for Medicare insurance. When income is limited, Medicare may not be enough.

Medi-Cal provides health coverage that helps cover primary care like prescription drugs, dental cleaning and exams, doctor’s visits, and hospitalizations. It also helps with adult day programs, nursing home care, personal care services, and occupational and physical therapy. If medical supplies and equipment are needed, Medi-Cal helps pay for some or all of those costs, too.


Medi-Cal is available to:

  • Adults 65 or older
  • Pregnant women
  • Parents or guardians of a child 21 or younger
  • An adult or guardian/parent of someone with a qualifying disability
  • The blind

When you have an elderly parent in need of long-term care, Medi-Cal can be a big help with medical expenses. But, there is another option available that could be just as useful that Californians aren’t always familiar with.

Not every older adult with disabilities or disabling health conditions gets enough help from Medi-Cal, especially if that older adult is not yet 65. If this is the case, there may be assistance available from the Federal Government.


The Social Security Administration Is Also Helpful to Older Americans

Suppose your 60-year-old mom has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She’s forgetting her work duties, and her doctor informs her that she needs to stop driving. Her reaction times and cognitive skills are too diminished for her to safely drive. She’s too far from retirement to afford to go without any income, and she needs the health insurance her work provides.

What families often don’t realize is that SSI/SSDI can help cover the income loss if a parent is diagnosed with a disabling health condition that prevents them from working before retirement age. This is important as early-onset Alzheimer’s can force someone to leave the workforce, but they’re not old enough to retire, leaving them without an income.

SSI/SSDI payments can cover some of that income loss. Medi-Cal provides the health insurance your mom needs after having to leave the workforce. Talk to a Medi-Cal attorney who specializes in Social Security disability to learn more.
An elder law attorney can help with the SSI/SSDI application process and ensure your mom doesn’t overlook any important steps when completing the forms. Call to schedule a consultation with a Medi-Cal Planning attorney.


The Law Office of James Dolenga offers SSDI, SSI, Estate Planning, & Medi-Cal Planning Attorney in Moreno Valley, CA. Call today for your legal consultation. (866) 772-5299


James Dolenga, JD

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