Keep Your Benefits Guide
Rules about public benefit programs can be confusing. Access the guide provided through this link to help families understand if public benefits affect immigration options.
Full-Scope Medi-Cal for Undocumented Children and Young Adults
All income-eligible children, regardless of immigration status, can now access full-scope Medi-Cal coverage. This is a huge victory and is the result of efforts that began almost 20 years ago. Coverage began in May 2016.
Also all income-eligible young adults up to age 26, regardless of immigration status, can now access full-scope Medi-Cal coverage. Coverage began in January 2020.
Restricted Scope (Emergency) Medi-Cal
Immigrants who are not eligible for full scope Medi-Cal can receive emergency and pregnancy-related services under what is known as restricted-scope or emergency Medi-Cal. They will receive Medi-Cal cards noting their entitlement to services to treat an emergency medical condition or for pregnancy-related services. Applications are processed through the County Department of Social Services.
The term “emergency medical condition” means a medical condition that shows acute symptoms of sufficient severity, including severe pain, such that the absence of immediate medical attention could reasonably be expected to result in any of the following:
(1) Placing the patient's health in serious jeopardy.
(2) Serious impairment to bodily functions.
(3) Serious dysfunction to any bodily organ or part.
Immigrants eligible for restricted or emergency Medi-Cal benefits can be pre-certified and apply in advance of needed health care services.
Hospital Presumptive Eligibilty
Under the Hospital Presumptive Eligibility (PE) program, hospitals can assist patients who are getting services from or being admitted to the hospital in applying for temporary fee-for-service full-scope Medi-Cal benefits. The applicant must be in a low-income family, must not currently have Medi-Cal and cannot have received PE within the past 12 months.
There are no questions about immigration status. Eligibility is for the month in which the application is filed and the following month. Eligibility continues during the application determination period if an application is filed. All SLO County hospitals are PE providers.
More info at: https://www.dhcs.ca.gov/services/medi-cal/eligibility/Pages/HospitalPE.aspx
"PRUCOL" Medi-Cal Eligibility
In California, immigrants who are “permanently residing under color of law” (PRUCOL) are eligible for full scope Medi-Cal if they meet other eligibility criteria. Basically, PRUCOL status is for immigrants who the immigration authorities know are in the United States and have no intention of deporting.
Medi-Cal applicants may be asked to fill out the Statement of Citizenship, Alienage, and Immigration Status (MC13) in which they attest to their eligibility. There are multiple categories of eligibility. Applicants who have been granted status under the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) program check the box which says “an alien in deferred action status.”
On the MC13, the last checkbox in Question 5 allows for an immigrant to attest:
“An alien, not in one of the above categories, who can show that:
(1) INS knows he/she is in the United States; and
(2) INS does not intend to deport him/her, either because of the person’s status category or individual circumstances.”
There is no further documentation required by DSS to process the Medi-Cal application, if an applicant checks the last box.
Besides Medi-Cal, other programs provide health services to undocumented immigrants. These include California Children’s Services, Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Fund, AIM and WIC. Victims of trafficking and others are eligible as well. www.nilc.org/issues/health-care/medical-assistance-various-states/
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for Immigrant Communities
The California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation has information about immigration court hearings, USCIS, immigration enforcement activity, and other coronavirus-related immigration topics on this site: www.crlaf.org/coronavirus
Public Charge Tool to Increase Benefits Use
During this coronavirus crisis, it is even more important that immigrant parents are not afraid to seek services or sign up for the benefits that will keep their families healthy. There is a new tool that will give them basic information about the public charge rule and tell them whether using public benefits could affect their immigration status. It's a simple guide that can be used by text or on a website. You can test it out on your own to see if it is something that might be helpful for your families.
The guide asks questions to determine immigration status and then explains how accessing public benefits may affect immigration status (their own or that of a friend or family member) and when and how to seek legal advice. It provides simple information in multiple languages and clear prompts and answers. If you use the online guide, it includes links to more information about the public charge test.
To access the guide you can either:
For more information about Public Charge visit: https://www.slohealthaccess.org/public-charge.html
Questions about eligibility for health coverage? categories
Submit your question on our Q&A page or Contact Us.
Submit your question on our Q&A page or Contact Us.