California Health Advocates submitted a letter of support for AB 1900 (Arambula), which would raise the maintenance need level of the Medi-Cal Medically Needy program to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).
This is long overdue, as Medi-Cal’s current maintenance need income level has been frozen at $600 for an individual since 1989, which is 55% FPL. That means that for people with Medi-Cal who have incomes over 138% of the federal poverty level, they must spend down over $800 each month before Medi-Cal will cover any of their health care expenses. This high share of cost forces aging adults, people with disabilities, and their families to make impossible decisions—choosing between needed health care or paying rent and having food on the table.
AB 1900 would change this by increasing California’s maintenance need income level to 138% FPL, the current income cutoff for free Medi-Cal coverage. With AB 1900, for example, an individual who makes $1500/month would have a share of cost of $18 instead of $900—a much more appropriate cost to obtain Medi-Cal coverage for individuals who have incomes just over the limit for free coverage.
For more information, read our letter of support (PDF).