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Medi-Cal Now Considers Income, Not Assets, of Enrollees

California Health Care Foundation Blog
| Published April 18, 2024

On January 1, 2024, Medi-Cal eliminated any asset limit for enrollees and instead considers only applicants’ income when assessing financial eligibility for benefits.

The asset test originally applied to everyone in Medi-Cal — until the 1980s, when the state removed the requirement for pregnant women, infants, and children. When the Affordable Care Act took effect in 2014, the asset test was no longer applied to adults under age 65 who were without disabilities. That left only the elderly, people with disabilities, and those living in long-term care facilities as the remaining applicants still affected by the asset limit.

“People were being forced to impoverish themselves and to risk their financial future in order to access Medi-Cal benefits,” said Tiffany Huyenh-Cho, JD, director of California Medicare and Medicaid advocacy at Justice in Aging. “That could have been money that someone could have saved for a rainy day,” Huyenh-Cho said.

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