Transitional Medi-Cal

Fact Sheet No. 3

This is archived content; for historical reference only.

Transitional Medi-Cal (TMC) is a public program that temporarily extends health coverage for families who leave welfare (CalWORKs). Federal law requires states to provide up to 12 months of Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California) coverage to families who leave welfare due to new or increased earnings from employment. California also provides TMC when family income increases due to marriage or the reunification of spouses under a program called wedfare.

The first six months of TMC is available to families leaving welfare, regardless of income level, provided they:

  • Were on aid at least three of the last six months;
  • Maintain residence in California; and
  • Have a child in the home.

Families are eligible for an additional six months of TMC if their earned income is at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level.

TMC is not a new program. It was created in 1988 by the Federal Family Support Act and implemented in California in 1990. Yet, TMC has renewed significance as federal and state welfare changes make moving welfare recipients into jobs a priority. Many individuals will leave welfare for low-paying jobs without health benefits. TMC is intended to provide continuing health coverage in just such transitions for up to one year.

Once on TMC, families must meet the following requirements in order to maintain their coverage:

  • Have a child in the household during the entire period of TMC coverage;
  • Receive TMC for the entire first six-month period in order to be eligible for the subsequent six-month period; and
  • File periodic status reports.

The complete fact sheet is available under Document Downloads.