California Medicaid Income Limits 2024

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What is California Medicaid?

California Medicaid Income Limits 2023 : Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid health care program. This program pays for a variety of medical services for children and adults with limited income and resources. Medi-Cal is supported by Federal and state taxes. Medi-Cal is a large program made up of many separate programs designed to assist Californians in various family and medical situations. The California Healthy Families program has transitioned to the Medi-Cal Program as of January 1, 2013.

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California Medicaid Income Limits 2023

Who is eligible for California Medicaid?

To be eligible for California Medicaid, you must be a resident of the state of California, a U.S. national, citizen, permanent resident, or legal alien, in need of health care/insurance assistance, whose financial situation would be characterized as low income or very low income. You must also be one of the following:

  • Pregnant, or
  • Be responsible for a child 21 years of age or younger, or
  • Blind, or
  • Have a disability or a family member in your household with a disability, or
  • Be 65 years of age or older.

California Medicaid Income Limits 2023

Household Size* Maximum Income Level (Per Year)
1 $19,392
2 $26,228
3 $33,064
4 $39,900
5 $46,737
6 $53,573
7 $60,409
8 $67,245

*For households with more than eight people, add $6,836 per additional person. Always check with the appropriate managing agency to ensure the most accurate guidelines.

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California Medicaid (Medi-Cal) Definition

Medicaid is a health care program for low-income individuals of any age. While there are many different coverage groups, this page is focused on Medicaid long-term care eligibility for California residents aged 65 and over. In addition to nursing home care and assisted living services, California Medicaid, which is also called Medi-Cal, pays for many non-medical support services that help frail seniors remain living in their homes. There are three categories of Medi-Cal long-term care programs for which California seniors may be eligible.

Institutional / Nursing Home Medicaid – This is an entitlement program; anyone who is eligible will receive assistance. Services are provided only in nursing homes.

Medicaid Waivers / Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) – This is not an entitlement program; the number of participants is limited and waiting lists may exist. Benefits are intended to delay nursing home admissions and may be provided at home, adult day care, or in assisted living.

Regular Medicaid / Aged, Blind and Disabled (ABD) – This is an entitlement program; meeting eligibility requirements ensures services will be provided. Various long-term care benefits, such as personal care assistance or adult day care, may be available.

While Medi-Cal is state and federally funded, the state of California administers its program within federally set parameters. The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) is the administering agency.

California Medicaid Income Limits 2023 For Seniors

California Medicaid Income Limits 2023 : To see if you qualify based on income, look at the chart below. Income numbers are based on your annual or yearly earnings

Family Size​ ​138% Poverty Level
​1 ​20,121
​2 27,214
​2 Adults ​​27,214
​3 34,307
​4 41,400
​5 48,494
​6 55,587
​7 62,680
​8 69,773
​9 76,866
​10 83,960
​11 91,053
​12 98,146
​Each Additional Person ​​Add 7,094

You can also get Medi-Cal if you are: medi-cal eligibility income limits

  • 65 or older
  • Blind
  • Disabled
  • Under 21
  • Pregnant
  • In a skilled nursing or intermediate care home
  • On refugee status for a limited time, depending how long you have been in the United States
  • A parent or caretaker relative of an age eligible child
  • Have been screened for breast and/or cervical cancer (Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program)

If you are enrolled in one of the following programs, you can also get Medi-Cal:

  • CalFresh
  • SSI/SSP
  • CalWorks (AFDC)
  • Refugee Assistance
  • Foster Care or Adoption Assistance Program

Contact your local County office for more information or apply on-line at Covered California.​

California Medicaid Income Limits 2023 Chart Calculator

April 2023 – March 2024 California Medicaid / Medi-Cal Long-Term Care Eligibility for Seniors
Type of Medicaid Single Married (both spouses applying) Married (one spouse applying)
Income Limit Asset Limit Level of Care Required Income Limit Asset Limit Level of Care Required Income Limit Asset Limit Level of Care Required
Institutional / Nursing Home Medicaid No income limit* $130,000 Nursing Home No income limit* $195,000 Nursing Home No income limit* $130,000 for applicant & $148,620 for non-applicant Nursing Home
Medicaid Waivers / Home and Community Based Services $1,677 / month $130,000 Nursing Home $2,269 / month $195,000 Nursing Home $1,677 / month for applicant $130,000 for applicant & $148,620 for non-applicant Nursing Home
Regular Medicaid / Aged Blind and Disabled $1,677 / month $130,000 Help with ADLs $2,269 / month $195,000 Help with ADLs $2,277 / month** $195,000 Help with ADLs

*All of a beneficiary’s monthly income, with the exception of a Personal Needs Allowance of $35 / month, Medicare premiums, and a Spousal Income Allowance (if applicable), must be paid to the nursing home as a Share of Cost.

**The income limit of $2,277 / month is a combination of the applicant income limit of $1,677 / month and a $600 / month maintenance needs allowance for the non-applicant spouse.

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Medi-Cal Eligibility Division | California Medicaid Income Limits

California Medicaid Income Limits 2023 : The Medi-Cal Eligibility Division (MCED) is responsible for the development, coordination, clarification, and implementation of Medi-Cal regulations, policy, and procedures to assure Medi-Cal eligibility is determined accurately and timely by the 58 county human services agencies. 

Beneficiaries : Find information about applying to Medi-Cal, frequently asked questions, contact information, program forms and notices, and locate your county human services agency.

Programs : Find your way to Medi-Cal eligibility and enrollment programs.

Counties & Stakeholders : Find information for county guidance, Medi-Cal policy and information letters, the Medi-Cal eligibility procedures manual, and stakeholder engagements.

MCED functions include:

California Medicaid Income Limits 2023 Guidance 

  • Developing policy, regulations and new statutes (legislation) necessary to determine eligibility of applicants for the Medi-Cal program.
  • Providing oversight and monitoring of the county eligibility determination to ensure compliance with state and federal laws.
  • Providing guidance and technical assistance to county human services agencies who administer eligibility for the Medi-Cal program.
  • Issuing All County Welfare Directors Letters (ACWDLs) and Medi-Cal Eligibility Division Information Letters (MEDILs)​ regarding new or amended policies and or procedures used in determining eligibility for Medi-Cal benefits.

California Medicaid Income Limits 2023 Eligibility

  • Assisting Medi-Cal applicants/beneficiaries in obtaining benefits through the county and answering eligibility questions.
  • Overseeing the statewide application and eligibility functions of the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program.
  • Enrolling qualified providers in the Presumptive Eligibility for Pregnant Women Program.
  • Reviewing and evaluating program eligibility requirements and assuring compliance with federal medicaid (Title XIX, Title XXI) regulations.
  • Reviewing proposed state hearing decisions concerning eligibility issues and providing recommendations of action to the Director. 

Partnership with Counties & Stakeholders

  • Developing policies and responding to questions related to the Medi-Cal Eligibility Data System (MEDS) and other automated systems that impact the Medi-Cal program.
  • Ensuring the security and confidentiality of data contained in MEDS by monitoring and authorizing access to MEDS.
  • Working cooperatively with stakeholders, consumer advocates, and business partners in administration of the Medi-Cal program.

California Medicaid Income Definition & Exceptions

Countable vs. Non-Countable Income

Nearly all income that a Medicaid applicant receives is counted towards the income limit. Countable income includes employment wages, alimony payments, pension payments, Social Security Disability Income, Social Security Income, IRA withdrawals, and stock dividends. VA Aid & Attendance pension payments and Holocaust restitution payments are considered non-countable income and do not impact income-eligibility.

Treatment of Income for a Couple

When just one spouse of a married couple applies for Nursing Home Medicaid or a HCBS Medicaid Waiver, only the income of the applicant is counted. In other words, the income of the non-applicant spouse is disregarded. Furthermore, the non-applicant spouse may be entitled to a Spousal Income Allowance from their applicant spouse. This is called a Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance (MMNA) and is said to be the minimum amount of monthly income a non-applicant spouse requires to avoid spousal impoverishment.

In 2023, the MMNA in CA is $3,715.50 / month. If a non-applicant’s monthly income is under this amount, income can be transferred to them from their applicant spouse to bring their income up to $3,715.50. A non-applicant spouse whose own monthly income is $3,715.50 or more is not entitled to a MMNA / Spousal Income Allowance.

Income is counted differently when only one spouse applies for Regular ABD Medicaid; the income of both the applicant and non-applicant spouse is calculated towards the applicant’s income eligibility. There is no Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance for a non-applicant spouse.

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FAQ’s-California Medicaid Income Limits 2023

1. What eligibility requirements will an undocumented person have to meet come 2014?

An undocumented person must meet the same eligibility requirements as any other beneficiary such as income limits and California residency in 2014.

2. Does everyone on the application have to be a U.S. citizen or U.S. national?

No. You may qualify for health insurance through Medi-Cal even if you are not a U.S. citizen or a U.S. national.

3. Will I qualify for health insurance if I am not a citizen or do not have satisfactory immigration status?

You do not have to be a citizen or have satisfactory immigration status to qualify for Medi-Cal.  You may qualify for Medi-Cal coverage of emergency and pregnancy-related services if you meet all of the eligibility requirements but do not have a satisfactory immigration status.  Immigrants who have a satisfactory immigration status and meet all eligibility requirements can qualify for full Medi-Cal coverage. 

4. Will undocumented immigrants be eligible for full-scope Medi-Cal?

An immigrant who meets all eligibility requirements, but is not in a satisfactory immigration status for full scope Medi-Cal is entitled to emergency and pregnancy-related services and, when needed, state-funded long-term care. 

5. Where can I get information about becoming registered to vote?

If you are not registered to vote where you live now and would like to apply to register to vote today please visit this website or call 1-800-345-VOTE (8683).

6. Will the information I provide for health coverage be used to verify my immigration status?

Immigration status is verified for documented immigrants who want Medi-Cal and claim to be in a satisfactory immigration status for full scope Medi-Cal.  This information is only used to verify status for Medi-Cal eligibility purposes.  

7. Can people on H-1 visas, including those who have lived legally in the country for fewer than 5 years, enroll in Medi-Cal?  

Yes. In general, anyone can apply for Medi-C​​al.  A person on an H1 visa is a temporary worker or trainee.  As long as they are living and working in California and provide evidence of that, they can meet California residency.  If they meet all other eligibility requirements, they will be eligible for restricted scope Medi-Cal limited to emergency and pregnancy related services.  It does not matter how long they have lived in the United States.  If they meet all eligibility requirements they will be eligible for restricted scope Medi-Cal.

8. Can green card holders, including those who have lived legally in the US for fewer than 5 years, enroll in Medi-Cal?

Yes. A lawful permanent resident (green card holder) is eligible for Medi-Cal regardless of their date of entry if they meet all other eligibility requirements.  Under current Medi-Cal policy, eligible green card holders get full scope Medi-Cal in California even if they have been in the United States for less than 5 years.  ​

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California Medical / Functional Need Requirements

California Medicaid Income Limits 2023 : An applicant must have a medical need for Medicaid long-term care. For Nursing Home Medicaid and HCBS Medicaid Waivers, a Nursing Facility Level of Care (NFLOC) is required. Furthermore, certain benefits may have additional eligibility requirements specific to that benefit.

For example, for a Waiver to cover the cost of home modifications, an inability to safely live independently without modifying the home might be required. For long-term care services via the Regular Medicaid program, a functional need with the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) is required, but a NFLOC is not necessarily required.

California Medicaid Income Limits 2023 Financial Assistance

1. Can I get health insurance even if my income is too high?

Yes. Any Californian who qualifies can purchase private health insurance through Covered California regardless of income. We use your income to help us find the health insurance that is most affordable for your family.

2. I don’t make a lot of money. What programs are available to help me get health insurance?

Starting on January 1, 2014, people who need health insurance may be able to get help in one of these ways:

  • Premium assistance: Premium assistance is available to help make health insurance affordable. People who qualify for premium assistance may take them in advance (before they file taxes) to make their monthly premiums lower. Or they can take them at the end of the year and pay less in taxes. The amount of assistance for monthly premiums depends upon your household size and family income.
  • Medi-Cal: Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program, paid for with federal and state taxes. It’s health insurance for low-income California residents who meet certain requirements. If your income is within the Medi-Cal limits for your family size, you will receive Medi-Cal coverage at no cost to you.

3. If my income changes, will my premium assistance change immediately?

No, your premium assistance will not change immediately. We will process any new information we have. And, we will tell you if the amount of your premium assistance changes.

4. If my income changes, how will the change affect me when I file my taxes?

It is important to report income changes to Covered California that impact the amount of premium assistance (or tax credits) that you receive. If your income decreases, you may qualify to receive a higher amount of premium assistance and reduce your out-of-pocket expenses even more. However, if your income increases, you may receive too much premium assistance and may be required to repay some of it back when you file your taxes for the benefit year.

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5. What if I didn’t file taxes last year?

If you didn’t file taxes last year, you can still apply for health insurance and get premium assistance. We will use your income to help us find the health insurance that is most affordable for you and your family. If you qualify for premium assistance, you must file taxes for the benefit year.

6. What if my income changes after I apply for health coverage?

If your income changes, it may change what kind of health insurance you qualify for. If you have private health insurance through Covered California, call to report any change in your income that may affect your eligibility within 30 days. If you have Medi-Cal and your income changes, contact your county social services office within 10 days.

7​.If an adult is claimed as a tax dependent by their parents, will their parents income count towards the dependent adult’s income for eligibility?

Yes. The adult who expects to be claimed as a tax dependent by his/her parents will have his parents income counted when determining income eligibility under the MAGI methodology.  Federal regulatory reference is 42 CFR 435.603(f)(2).

How to Apply for California Medicaid

For more information or to apply for a long-term care Medicaid program, one can contact their local county Department of Social Services office.  One can also apply for Medi-Cal online at Covered California or by calling 1-800-300-1506. Seniors who require home and community based services (HCBS) must first apply for Aged, Blind and Disabled Medicaid. Once enrolled, they apply for HCBS by completing the assessment and enrollment process.

It is vital that Medi-Cal applicants be certain that all eligibility requirements are met prior to applying for benefits. Elderly CA residents who are over the income and / or asset limit(s), or are unsure if they are, should consider Medicaid planning for the best chance of acceptance into a Medicaid program. Familiarizing oneself with general information about the application process for long-term care Medicaid can be helpful.

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