An Advocate’s Guide to Medi-Cal Services

Executive Summary

California’s Medi-Cal program provides free or low-cost health care coverage to more than 14 million low-income adults, families with children, seniors, persons with disabilities, pregnant women, children in foster care, and former foster youth up to age 26. Medi-Cal, like other Medicaid programs, covers a wide range of health services which, taken together, are intended to provide a comprehensive package of health care services from infancy to end of life. To learn more about what services are covered and for an explanation of many of the important benefits available through Medi-Cal, please review our 2020 publication.

The entire guide can be downloaded or individual chapters accessed below.

Chapter I: Overview of Medicaid and Medi-Cal
Chapter II: Prescription Drugs
Chapter III: Mental Health Services
Chapter IV: Substance Use Disorder Services
Chapter V: Gender-Affirming Services
Chapter VI: Reproductive and Sexual Health Services
Chapter VII: Dental Services
Chapter VIII: Children’s Health Services
Chapter IX: Long-Term Services and Supports
Chapter X: Durable Medical Equipment, Orthotics and Prosthetics, and Other Non-Pharmaceutical Items
Chapter XI: Ancillary Services
Appendix A: Commonly Referenced Laws and Commonly Used Terms
Appendix B: Medi-Cal Resource List

Through policy advocacy and litigation, the National Health Law Program protects and advances access to Medi-Cal coverage and services, and the rights of individuals eligible for the program. We have extensive expertise in federal and state Medi-Cal laws, regulations, and policies and share the expertise through training and assistance to California health advocates, legal services programs, private attorneys, and other stakeholders.

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