If you’re a senior with a low income and expensive long-term care costs, you might be worried about how you’re going to pay for everything. Now is a good time to consider applying for Medicaid benefits because they could cover a large portion of your care costs. Most people don’t know much about Medicaid, but it could provide you with services like in-home health care and adult day care programs. San Diego provides its residents with some great resources to make the whole process of applying for Medicaid, or Medi-Cal here in California, easier.
To qualify for Medi-Cal benefits, you need to meet a few requirements first. You need to be a resident of California and a citizen of the U.S. to receive full benefits. You must also be at least 65 or have a disability or a medical condition that requires care for at least 30 days. You also need to meet the income level requirements and have no large assets to your name excluding things like your car or home.
If you’re ready to apply for Medi-Cal, you have a few different options to choose from. The first and best way to apply is to go online to CoveredCA and use that website to start your application. This application will also let you know all the different benefits that you qualify for.
You can also go to your local county human services agency and apply in person or call (800) 300-1506 to apply over the phone. If you run into trouble with your application, you can contact a Certified Enrollment Counselor at any one of these locations:
Sharp HealthCare- 7901 Frost St. (858) 939-4220 San Diego Family Care- 6973 Linda Vista Rd. (858) 514-2943 Family Health Centers of San Diego- 3544 30th St. (619) 515-2363
You can find a list of more Certified Enrollment Counselor locations in your area here. All of these places will be able to help you successfully apply and enroll in Medi-Cal. If you want to apply online but don’t have access to a computer or an internet connection, you can go to the San Diego Public Library and get free access to a computer and internet. You can also contact the San Diego Aging and Independence Services for access to free computer labs and classes.
Once you get Medi-Cal coverage, you will begin to receive care for things like doctor’s visits, dental care, and vision benefits just like any other insurance policy. For seniors, you can also use Medi-Cal benefits to take part in things like nursing home stays, in-home health care, adult day care programs, hospice care, or any other type of long-term care. You can find waivers for a variety of services for seniors that allow you to receive special health care, either in your home or in a facility, without any charge to you.
If you don’t have a car or can’t drive but still need to get to your appointments, you can look at the San Diego Aging and Independence Services to find a ride. Many of these services are at a discounted rate and some are free for Medi-Cal customers. You can see the list here and choose the transportation service that is closest to your home.
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