Why Are My Children On Medi-Cal? What are My Options?

We receive numerous phone calls asking about Medi-Cal for Children. Unfortunately, due to backlog issues, the state is still processing some 900,000 applications for Medi-Cal. This has left many of you without ID cards for children that need to see a Doctor. The state has not provided many answers on how and when this problem will be fixed, but this post provides some help.

Parents often want to know why they were enrolled in a Covered California plan and why their children do not qualify for Covered California and must go on Medi-Cal.

Because of the way the law was written, eligibility for Medi-Cal is based on higher income levels for children then adults, as shown in the examples below:

  • A married couple with one child needs to make $27,311 for the parents to be eligible for premium subsidies. However, the family must earn more than $52,643 for children under the age of 19 to also be eligible.
  • A married couple with two children needs to make $32,914 for the parents to be eligible for premium subsidies and more than $63,442 for the children to be eligible.

A recent report from the California Healthcare Foundation questions if the number of doctors accepting Medi-Cal will be sufficient to handle the boom of 2 million newly covered people under Medi-Cal. See the infographic.

What Can You Do if You Don’t Want Medi-Cal for Your Children?

You may not want your children on Medi-Cal for numerous reasons. Start planning now for the next open enrollment. If you can’t claim a higher income to make your children eligible for premium subsidies, you can buy a child-only plan. Your children won’t be eligible for premium subsidies, but the piece of mind may be worth it.

Child only plans cost about $150 a month for a Silver plan. You can qet plans and prices at

Unless you’ve had a “qualifying life event”, you’ll have to wait until November 15th to purchase a child-only plan that starts on January 1st. If you want coverage to start sooner, consider a short-term medical plan. A short-term medical plan is a temporary medical plan that will “bridge the gap” until open enrollment when a major medical plan can be purchased. For quotes and more information about short-term plans, go to

Feel free to give us a call at 1-800-788-2197. We’re more than happy to discuss the best health care options for your children.

AUTHOR - Ali Nagy