Raise Medi-Cal’s Monthly Maintenance Need to a Livable Amount

maintenance need raised - Asian grandfather with grandkids on sofa

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.

Please join us in supporting this bill by contacting your California State Legislators.

For more information, read our letter of support (PDF).

Karen Joy Fletcher

Our blogger Karen Joy Fletcher is CHA’s Communications Director. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she is the online “public face” of the organization, provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare and other health care issues. She is responsible for digital content creation, management of CHA’s editorial calendar, and managing all aspects of CHA’s social media presence. She loves being a “communicator” and enjoys networking and collaborating with the passionate people and agencies in the health advocacy field. See her current articles.