"How do I contact Medi-Cal"

Medi-Cal Phone Number (Speak to a Live Person)

In this post, we will provide the phone you with the California Medi-Cal Phone Number to call for help, including how to speak to a live person.

However, before you call the Medi-Cal Phone Number, scroll below to see if the question you are calling about is already answered here.

As you can imagine, more people are calling the Medi-Cal Phone Number, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result, the Medi-Cal phone lines have been flooded with calls.

Due to that reason, hold times have been reported to be quite long.

Rather than wait on hold in frustration, you can first seek answers below by reviewing our Medi-Cal FAQs below.

With the FAQs below, we answer the top 10 questions why people call the Medi-Cal phone number, with answers to all of them.

"Medi-Cal Phone Number"

Table of Contents:

  • What is Medi-Cal?
  • California Medi-Cal Phone Number
  • How to Reach a Live Person at Medi-Cal
  • Medi-Cal FAQs
  • Medi-Cal Phone Number by County

What is Medi-Cal?

Medi-Cal is a California public health program that offers free or low-cost health coverage to California residents who meet eligibility requirements.

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.

Additionally, California has been expanding Medi-Cal to a larger and more diverse group of people.

As of May 1, 2016, Medi-Cal now covers all low-income children under the age of 19, regardless of immigration status.

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.

California Medi-Cal Phone Number

Here’s how to contact Medi-Cal:

Call 1- (800) 541-5555

If you are outside of California, please call (916) ​636-1980) for the Telephone Service Center.

The Service Center can help with:

1. Learning how to apply for Medi-Cal
2. Learning about Medi-Cal services
3. Finding a health care provider
4. Filing a complaint

For questions specific to Mental Health Services call 1-800-896-4042. TTY Line: 1-800-896-2512.

Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. ( Except State Holidays and CA only)

How to Reach a Live Person

When you first call the Medi-Cal number, you will hear greetings from the auto-attendant.

Listen to the menu options carefully.

Wait till you are asked to select options for “English” or “Spanish”.

Once you have selected the appropriate language option, you will be asked to hold for a live person.

Hold times vary, depending on the time of the day you are calling.

The best time to call Medi-Cal is 2 pm, based on our research.

If you do not wait to wait on hold for a live representative, continue reading below to see if your questions have been answered below.

Before you call the Medi-Cal Phone Number

As we mentioned above, the California Medi-Cal Phone lines get lots of phone calls from people trying to get details about Medi-Cal.

Therefore, hold times may be longer when you call the phone number.

We have answered the top questions people call the California Medi-Cal Phone for.

Scroll down below to see if your question has been answered below.

Who Can Get Medi-Cal?

First, you may automatically be eligible for Medi-Cal if you receive cash assistance under one of the following programs:

  • SSI/SSP (Supplemental Security Income/State Supplemental Program)
  • CalWORKs (California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids)
  • Refugee Assistance
  • Foster Care or Adoption Assistance Program

Additionally, even if you don’t receive cash assistance, you may be eligible for Medi-Cal if you are one of the following:

  • Adult with or without children
  • Blind
  • Diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer
  • In a skilled nursing or intermediate care facility
  • Refugee status during a limited period of eligibility. Adult refugees may or may not be eligible depending upon how long they have been in the U.S.
  • Parent or caretaker relative of a child under 21

How do I apply for Medi-Cal?

There are 3 ways you can apply for Medicaid in California.

Option 1 – Apply online

You can apply online through the CoveredCA.com website, as shown by the image below.

CoveredCA.com is a joint partnership between Covered California and the Department of Health Care Services.​

If you have an account, you can log in or create your CoveredCA.com account. Click here to be taken to the website.

Option 2 – Apply at CDSS Office Near You

You can apply in person at the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) office near you. Click here to locate a CDSS office.

Option 3 – Download Application

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and Covered California have partnered to create a Single Streamlined Application for affordable health care coverage.

You can use the Single Streamlined Application to apply for a range of affordable health care coverage options, including free or low-cost Medi-Cal.

First, download the application, complete it, You can mail your completed and signed application to:

Covered California
P.O. Box 989725
West Sacramento, CA 95798-9725

Additionally, you can mail it to your local County Social Services Office.​

"Apply for Medi-Cal on Covered California"

What is Covered California?

Covered California is the new marketplace that makes it possible for individuals and families to get free or low-cost health insurance through Medi-Cal.

Additionally, Covered California helps individuals and families get help paying for private health insurance.

How Can I Use Covered California?

Covered California can help you choose a private insurance plan that meets your health needs and budget.

The website offers some of California’s best-known health plans, in addition to some regional or local plans.

When choosing a health plan using Covered California, you will see the costs and benefits of each health insurance plan clearly, so you can compare the different choices available to you.

That way, you will know exactly what you’re getting and how much you have to pay before you choose your plan.

How do I qualify for Medi-Cal?

To qualify for Medi-Cal, you must meet certain income, family size, and age requirements.

For instance, you must have a certain income based on the Federal Poverty Level Guidelines.

For details about the income eligibility requirements, see our post on Medi-Cal Income limits.

Is there a deadline to enroll in Medi-Cal?

You can apply for Medi-Cal (California Medicaid or CHIP) any time, all year.

If you qualify, you can enroll immediately.

What if I am not eligible for Medi-Cal?

If the county determines that you don’t qualify for Medi-Cal, your information will be sent to Covered California to be reviewed for financial assistance through Covered California.

The county Medi-Cal office will send you a letter letting you know what your next steps are. You do not need to fill out another Covered California application.

To check on your transition status, call Covered California at 1-800-300-1506.

Can my children qualify for Medi-Cal — even if I don’t?

Yes, families with higher incomes may find that only their children qualify for Medi-Cal coverage while the parents qualify to receive financial assistance on a Covered California health plan.

To determine whether your family is eligible for Medi-Cal, contact your Local County Services Office or call Covered California at 1-800-300-1506 for more information.

What does Medi-Cal Cover?

The Medi-Cal program offers many covered benefits to members, including:

  • Most doctor visits with contracted providers for covered benefit services
  • Preventive care and immunizations
  • Prescriptions
  • Hospital stays
  • Emergency services, including ambulance
  • Family planning
  • OB-GYN services and pregnancy care
  • Lab and x-ray services
  • Health education
  • Vision care (some restrictions apply, available through VSP)
  • Dental care (available through Denti-Cal)
  • Behavioral health (mental health and substance abuse) services
  • Transportation to medical appointments
  • Long-term services and supports (LTSS), including long-term care in a nursing facility, Community-Based Adult Services (CBAS), In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS), and Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP).

How Soon Can I get Medi-Cal?

Once you have submitted your application, it takes about 30-45 days for the application to be processed, provided your application does not involve a disability.

However, if you are applying for Medi-Cal based on a disability, your application process may take up to 90 days.

Additionally, how fast your application is processed depends on how quickly you complete all the information and when your doctors and hospitals submit your medical records.

Also, if you have an immediate medical or dental need, such as pregnancy or a severe illness, be sure to include it on your application. This way, your application may be processed faster.

California Medi-Cal Phone Number Summary

We hope this post on the California Medi-Cal Phone Number was helpful to you.

If you have any questions about Medicaid in the state of California, you can ask us in the comments section below.

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Be sure to check out our other articles about Medicaid:

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