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Important Information for Pending Applicants and Newly Enrolled Medi-Cal Members

Member news | Monday, May 5, 2014

Due to the large number of Medi-Cal applications received through the Covered California website and county human services agencies, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) is providing information to help ensure you can get the care you need.

Pending Applicants

If you have applied and are likely eligible, but are waiting for your application to be finalized, you may receive care while you wait.

  • You can go to a hospital for emergencies. Beginning January 1, 2014, the Hospital Presumptive Eligibility (PE) program began providing adults, pregnant women, children, and former foster care enrollees with temporary, no cost Medi-Cal benefits for up to two months. In order to receive Hospital PE benefits, you must complete a simplified application online during a hospital stay. You will be notified immediately of your eligibility determination.
  • You can visit your local county human services office. You can use your information to confirm your Medi-Cal eligibility and get a temporary identification card. This will allow you to get services until your enrollment is complete.
  • Pregnant women can get temporary Medi-Cal coverage from certain Medi-Cal providers and clinics.
  • Children can get temporary Medi-Cal coverage provided by enrolled Medi-Cal providers and clinics that see children.

Newly Enrolled Members

If you are eligible for Medi-Cal and have a Medi-Cal Benefits Card (BIC), but have not selected a managed care health plan, you may still receive care. While you have temporary Medi-Cal eligibility, you can get health care services from an enrolled Medi-Cal provider. Those who accept Medi-Cal fee-for-service (FFS) will be able to help you. Make sure you ask if they accept FFS before you make your appointment. If they don't, you should contact another Medi-Cal provider.

In the event you have a medical emergency before you find a doctor, contact 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room at your nearest hospital. Medi-Cal does cover emergency services for enrolled members, and if you show your BIC to emergency room staff, Medi-Cal will pay for the services you receive.

For detailed information on how to receive care, go to