Editor’s note: For people buying on the individual market who want health insurance starting Jan. 1, the deadline to sign up is Monday, Dec. 23. We will run one post a day with questions and answers on the Affordable Care Act and Covered California until that deadline. Readers can also consult KQED’s Obamacare Guide, written specifically for Californians.
By Emily Bazar, CHCF Center for Health Reporting
While more than 80,000 people have enrolled in coverage through Covered California, an additional 140,000 people appear to be eligible for Medi-Cal, the state’s version of the Medicaid program for low-income residents. It’s part of the Medicaid expansion, which is expected to include people of all stripes, from young adults and college students to single, older men. It could include you.
Q: How will Medi-Cal eligibility be expanded? My 37-year-old, single daughter is currently not eligible.
A: Medi-Cal provides medical services to more than 8 million low-income Californians. The expansion is expected to make roughly 1.4 million state residents newly eligible.
Will Jack of San Clemente’s daughter be among them? I don’t know for sure, but at least one detail he shared sounds promising.
Under the expansion, the income threshold to qualify for Medi-Cal will go up to 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. This year, that computes to about $15,800 for an individual and $32,500 for a family of four.
Perhaps even more momentous (pay attention here, Jack), the program will be open to childless adults, who were previously ineligible. This is where the college students and single, older males come in, and single, 37-year-old females, too.
A few other important details: Continue reading