Beginning on the first day of the New Year, a vital lifeline is set to be thrown to a broader swathe of San Diegans caught in the healthcare gap. Adults aged 26-49, without consideration for immigration status, will now qualify for full Medi-Cal coverage thanks to a fresh state mandate.
Rick Wanne, the Director of Self-Sufficiency Services at the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, acknowledged the importance of the expansion. “Expanding Medi-Cal to cover younger adults is desperately needed in such difficult financial times. Providing a safety net to our most vulnerable neighbors is incredibly important and builds the opportunity for San Diegans to thrive," Wanne told the County News Center.
Already in place is Medi-Cal coverage for Californians under 26 and those 50 or older. However, this recent amendment is expected to close the gap for individuals who were previously denied full coverage. Medi-Cal's existing eligibility standards, such as household income limits, continue to be in effect.
Under the umbrella of full-scope Medi-Cal, several essential health services are covered, ranging from doctor visits and prescribed medications to mental health and substance use care, including vision and dental care. Looking out for potential scams, officials remind applicants that applying for Medi-Cal is free, and any payment requests should be reported immediately to the Medi-Cal fraud hotline at 1-800-822-6222.
Qualifying individuals currently under restricted Medi-Cal, which covers only emergency services, are on track to receive full-scope services. They should seek a letter detailing their new eligibility; no new application is necessary. For those aiming to apply or learn more, resources are available at Benefitscal.com and SanDiegoCounty.gov/Medi-Cal.