"Apply for and Renew Medi-Cal in Kern County"

Medi-Cal is the Medicaid program in California. It provides health coverage to people with low income and asset levels who meet certain eligibility requirements. If you live in the County of Kern, California, and need help with Medi-Cal, we can help. In this post, we will review everything you need to know about Medi-Cal in Kern County – including who is eligible for Medi-Cal, Medi-Cal income limits, how to apply for benefits, Department of Human Services (DHS) contact information, and Medi-Cal providers in Kern County, including Kern Family Health Care.

Before we get into Medi-Cal eligibility guidelines, first, we will explain what Medi-Cal is about and California’s Medicaid expansion.

Next, we will explain the Medi-Cal eligibility guidelines in detail, including the income limit, which is the most important.

We will then walk you through the 3 ways you can apply for Medi-Cal in Kern County.

Additionally, we will provide DHS contact information, including the phone number and hours of operation.

Lastly, we will answer the most frequently asked questions about Medi-Cal in Kern County, including what Medi-Cal covers.

"Medi-Cal in Kern County California"

Table of Contents:

  • What is Medi-Cal
  • What services are covered by Medi-Cal?
  • Medi-Cal in Kern County
  • Medi-Cal Expansion in California
  • Who is Eligible for Medi-Cal?
  • Kern County Medi-Cal Income Limits
  • How to Apply for California Medi-Cal in Kern County
  • Apply for and Manage Medi-Cal Benefits Online
  • Kern County Medi-Cal Office Locations
  • Kern County Medi-Cal Phone Number
  • Medi-Cal Managed Care Health Plans in Kern County
  • Medi-Cal Providers in Kern County, California
  • Kern County Medi-Cal FAQs

What is Medi-Cal

Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid public health insurance program. Medi-Cal provides free or low-cost medical services for children and adults with limited income (and limited resources for some Medi-Cal programs).

The program is supported by federal and state taxes.

Effective January 1, 2014, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) expanded Medi-Cal coverage to previously ineligible adults (childless, non-disabled, non-elderly).

Medi-Cal Program and Services include:

  • Children and Adults
  • Seniors and Persons with Disabilities
  • Teen Services
  • Newborn Referral
  • Long Term Care
  • Dental

What services are covered by Medi-Cal?

  • Outpatient (ambulatory) services
  • Emergency services
  • Hospitalization
  • Maternity and newborn care
  • Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitative and habilitative services/devices (physical and occupational therapy)
  • Laboratory services
  • Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
  • Certain adult dental services
  • Pediatric services, including dental and vision care

Medi-Cal in Kern County

In Kern County, the Medi-Cal program is managed by the Department of Human Services (DHS).

In addition to Medi-Cal benefits, the DHS also handles CalFresh, CalWORKs, and General Relief applications and benefits.

Furthermore, BenefitsCal is the website for Kern County Residents to apply for and to view their benefits online.

Continue reading below for BenefitsCal account information.

Medi-Cal Expansion in California

Effective January 1, 2014, The Affordable Care Act (ACA) expanded Medicaid benefits to low-income, childless adults between the ages of 19-64 who meet the low or no income requirements.

Also, starting on January 1, 2020, a new law in California gave full-scope Medi-Cal to young adults under the age of 26, and immigration status does not matter.

This is referred to as the Young Adult Expansion. All other Medi-Cal eligibility rules, including income limits, will still apply.

Furthermore, beginning May 1, 2022, a new law in California will give full-scope Medi-Cal to adults 50 years of age or older and immigration status does not matter.

This is referred to as the Older Adult Expansion. All other Medi-Cal eligibility rules, including income limits, will still apply to this new group.

Who is Eligible for Medi-Cal?

There are three ways you can qualify for Medi-Cal:

First, you can qualify if you meet the income limits.

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

Second, you can also get Medi-Cal if you are:

  • 65 or older
  • Blind
  • Disabled
  • Under 21
  • Pregnant
  • In a skilled nursing or intermediate care home
  • On refugee status for a limited time, depending on 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)

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

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

Kern County Medi-Cal Income Limits

The Kern County Medi-Cal income limit follows the California Medi-Cal Income Limit and is calculated as a percentage of the Federal Poverty Line (FPL).

To be eligible for Medi-Cal, you cannot make more than the income guidelines outlined below:

  • Children up to age 1 with family income up to 266 percent of FPL
  • Any child age 1-5 with a family income up to 266 percent of FPL
  • Children ages 6- 18 with family income up to 266 percent of FPL
  • CHIP for children with family income up to 266%-322% percent of FPL
  • Pregnant women with family income up to 213 percent of FPL
  • Parents of minor children with family income up to 114 percent of FPL
  • Individuals who are elderly, blind, and disabled with family income up to 100% of the FPL
  • Adults without dependents under Medicaid expansion with income up to 138% of the FPL

Medi-Cal income limit charts

Below are the California Medi-Cal income limit charts, one showing eligibility for children and the other showing eligibility for adults.

First is the income limit for children by age category.

Find the age category your child falls into and you will see the income limit by household size.

California Medicaid Income Limit – Children
Children Medicaid Ages 0-1Children Medicaid Ages 1-5Children Medicaid Ages 6-18Children Separate CHIP
% FPL100%266%266%266%322%
Household Size

Next, you will find below the income limit for adults by category.

Find the category you fall into and you will see the income limit by household size.

California Medicaid Income Limit – Adults
Pregnant Women MedicaidAdults (Medicaid) Parent/ CaretakerSeniors & People w/ Disabilities (Medicaid)Adults (Medicaid) Expansion to Adults
% FPL100%213%114%100%138%
Household Size

How to Apply for California Medi-Cal in Kern County

There are three ways to apply for Medi-Cal in Kern County:

  • Online at BenefitsCal.com.
  • Online through Covered California, at or by calling 1-800-300-1506.
  • Call the Department of Human Services (DHS) during business hours Monday – Friday 7:00 am – 5:00 pm at (661) 631-6807. 
  • Apply in person at one of the DHS office locations listed below.

Apply for and Manage Medi-Cal Benefits Online

The BenefitsCal website is a fast, easy way for Kern County residents to apply for and manage public assistance services online, including Medi-Cal.

With a BenefitsCal account, you can perform the following tasks online:

  • See if you are eligible for Medi-Cal and other benefits
  • Apply for Medi-Cal, CalFresh, and Cash Assistance Benefits
  • Report Changes in your Household situation that may affect your benefits
  • Renew your Medi-Cal, CalFresh, and Cash Assistance Benefits

If you currently have a BenefitsCal account, click here to log in and apply for or manage your Medi-Cal benefits.

However, if you do not currently have a BenefitsCal, click here to sign up for one. It only takes a few minutes.

The video below does a great job of explaining in detail how to sign up for a BenefitsCal account, and apply for and manage your benefits online.

We recommend watching the video in order to save time in navigating the BenefitsCal website.

Kern County Medi-Cal Office Locations

Applications for the Medi-Cal Program can be completed in person at a DHS office location.

To begin the process you will need to locate the DHS that serves your area.

Unless there is an emergent need for medical care, benefits may not be issued on the same day.

In addition to Medi-Cal, households can apply for CalFresh, General Relief, and CalWORKs at the following locations, which are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday:

See below for a list of DHS office locations in Kern County:

Department of Human Services – Main Office

100 E. California Avenue
Bakersfield, CA 93307
(661) 631-6807 [Map]

Department of Human Services – Satellite Offices


1816 Cecil Ave
Delano, CA 93215
(661) 721-5134 [Map]

Lake Isabella

7050 Lake Isabella Blvd, Suite 130
Lake Isabella, CA 93240
(760) 549-2006 [Map]


8300 Segrue Road
Lamont, CA 93241
(661) 635-4000 [Map]


2340 Hwy 58
Mojave, CA 93501
(661) 824-7500 [Map]


145 E Ridgecrest Blvd
Ridgecrest, CA 93555
(760) 499-5200 [Map]


115 Central Valley Hwy
Shafter, CA 93263
(661) 746-8300 [Map]


119 North 10th Street
Taft, CA 93268
(661) 763-0200 [Map]

Kern County Medi-Cal Phone Number

Here’s the phone number to call to speak to a live person regarding Medi-Cal in Kern County:

Call the Department of Human Services (DHS) during business hours Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm at (661) 631-6807.

Medi-Cal Managed Care Health Plans in Kern County

When you first qualify for Medi-Cal, you are covered under Medi-Cal Fee-for-Service.

However, you must choose a health plan within 30 days. If you do not choose a plan within 30 days, the State will choose a plan for you.

If you find only one health plan, the county has chosen this plan for you. Please wait for your health plan information mailer in the mail.

If you find multiple health plans listed, please explore each plan and choose the one that suits you and your family’s needs.

Below is a list of Medi-Cal Managed Care Health Plan options available in Kern County, California.

 Plan NamePhone Number
Health Net Community Solutions, Inc.​(800) 675-6110
TTY/TDD (800) 431-0964
 Kern Family Health Care(800) 391-2000
TTY/TDD (800) 735-2929
Specialty Health Plan
Bakersfield PACE​661-872-3860

Medi-Cal Providers in Kern County, California

When you enroll in (join) a Medi-Cal plan, you must choose a primary care provider (PCP).

Your PCP is the doctor or clinic you go to when you are sick or need a checkup.

To locate a Medi-Cal provider near you, click here to search the database of providers.

Once you are on the website, select a program (see image below) to search for doctors, dentists, hospitals, medical clinics, and dental clinics near you.

"Medi-Cal Providers in California"

Medi-Cal Kern County FAQs

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Medi-Cal in Kern County:

How do I choose a Medi-Cal Health Plan in Kern County?

To enroll in a Health Plan, call Health Care Options at 1-800-430-4263 and enroll on the phone.

Alternatively, you can use the enrollment form that came in the envelope that was mailed to you with your Medi-Cal approval notice.

Note that 15 – 45 days after you enroll, your new Health Plan will send you a membership card.

While you are waiting for the membership card, keep using the doctors and hospitals you use now.

What documents are required when applying for Medi-Cal in Kern County?

When applying for Medi-Cal, present or mail the following items that apply to your situation with your application.

  • Driver’s License, Photo I.D., Alien Card(s)
  • Social Security and Medicare cards
  • Pregnancy verification not required to receive pregnancy-related services
  • Current Property Tax Statement and proof of balance owed
  • Car/Truck/Boat Registrations
  • All Current Checking and Savings Account statements
  • Stocks or Bonds
  • Life Insurance Policies
  • Burial Trust Agreements
  • Trust Funds
  • Trust Deeds
  • Unemployment Insurance verification
  • State Disability Income verifications
  • INCOME verifications (check stubs, employer statement, award letters).
  • Free Room and Board statement.

What is Covered California?

Covered California is a marketplace where individuals can compare and select private health insurance plans as well as determine if they are eligible for financial assistance to make coverage more affordable.

What type of insurance will I get through Covered California?

There are 3 different health insurance plans available to purchase on Covered California in Kern County. They are:

  • Blue Shield of California
  • HealthNet
  • Kaiser Permanente

These plans each have 4 different levels of coverage:

  • Bronze (60%)
  • Silver (70%)
  • Gold (80%)
  • Platinum (90%)

Additionally, there are enhanced silver plans available for those with eligible income, with coverage at 73%, 87%, and 94%.

If you qualify for Medi-Cal you will have options to choose between HealthNet and Kern Family Health Care.

What is Retroactive Medi-Cal?

If you have unpaid medical or dental bills when you apply for Medi-Cal, you can ask for retroactive Medi-Cal.

Retroactive Medi-Cal may help pay medical or dental bills in any of the three months before the application date.

For example, if you applied for Medi-Cal in July, you may be able to get help with bills for medical or dental services you got in April, May, and June.

To get retroactive Medi-Cal you must:

  • Qualify for Medi-Cal in the month you got the medical services
  • Have received medical or dental services that Medi-Cal covers
  • Ask for it within one year of the month in which you received the covered services
  • You must contact your local county office to request retroactive Medi-Cal

Medi-Cal in Kern County Summary

We hope this post on Medi-Cal in Kern County was helpful.


If you have further questions about Medi-Cal in Kern County, please let us know in the comments section below.

Be sure to check out our other articles about Medi-Cal and California Medicaid program, including:

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