Medi-Cal for Seniors

Fact Sheet No. 14

This is archived content, for historical reference only.

Nearly one in four of California’s seniors are covered by Medi-Cal, the state’s version of Medicaid. Medi-Cal provides many of the state’s poorest seniors with vital health insurance coverage, including wrap-around coverage for medical services not covered by Medicare. It also provides a safety net for seniors requiring long term care who have exhausted their own financial resources. As of January 2003, there were nearly 764,000 people age 65 and older enrolled in Medi-Cal.

The fact sheet, Medi-Cal for Seniors, provides an overview of:

  • Eligibility and enrollment;
  • Seniors who receive coverage under both Medi-Cal and Medicare (also known as “dual eligibles”);
  • Service use and expenditures; and
  • Health care delivery.

The fact sheet also discusses several challenges facing Medi-Cal in serving its elderly beneficiaries, including cuts in provider reimbursement and program eligibility reductions. In the longer term, California’s growing elderly population will increase the demand for expensive long term care unless the state is able to develop less expensive alternatives. Lawmakers are facing difficult decisions that will have a tremendous impact on the health care of seniors.

The complete fact sheet is available under Document Downloads.