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Health Coverage for Refugees

Last modified: 4/9/2013 2:33 PM

The Medi-Cal Program

24-Hr Automated InfoLine: 
1-877-96-BENEFITS  or
Refugees may be eligible for Medi-Cal benefits through a special program known as the Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA) Program. Qualified refugees are considered eligible for up to eight months from the date of entry to the U.S.
The eligibility information listed below will give you an idea of whether you may be eligible to receive Medi-Cal coverage under the Medi-Cal RMA Program. However, eligibility for Medi-Cal can only be fully evaluated by an Eligibility Worker (EW) at one of the Social Services Agency Intake Offices. If and when you decide to apply, your EW will explain in further detail what requirements specifically apply to your situation.
Basic Eligibility Requirements
Persons applying for the Medi-Cal RMA Program must meet the following requirements:

  • Be determined ineligible for other Medi-Cal programs,
  • Not be receiving public cash assistance,
  • Provide the name of the resettlement agency, and
  • Have resided in the U.S. for 8 months or less.


Applying for the Medi-Cal RMA Program

Persons who would like to apply for the Medi-Cal RMA Program may:
  • Apply for Medi-Cal in person by visiting one of the Social Services Agency Intake Offices and filling out an application, or
  • Call a Social Services Agency Intake Offices and ask for a mail-in Medi-Cal application.
  • Apply online via the Benefits CalWIN website at . Your worker will review your online application and contact you by phone or mail if additional information is needed.
You may also call one of the intake offices and ask to speak with the Information Supervisor. The Information Supervisor will answer any questions you may have about Medi-Cal.
Documents You Will Need to Bring When You Apply
Applicants for the Medi-Cal RMA Program have to provide the same level of verification or proof as an applicant for most other Medi-Cal programs. Your Eligibility Worker (EW) will tell you exactly what documents you will need to provide as proof of identity, income, property, residence, and so on. The following list contains examples of some of the most common items you may need to provide so that your EW can see if you are eligible for Medi-Cal benefits.
   Proof of Identity
  • California Driver’s License or ID from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
  • Passport
   Proof of Social Security Number
  • Social Security Card
  • Proof of application for Social Security Card
   Proof of Immigration Status
  • Permanent Resident Card/Green Card/ Alien Registration Card
   Proof of Property
  • Bank statements (checking and/or savings accounts)
  • Car registrations
  • Papers that show the value of property
   Proof of Income
  • Pay stub
  • Employer documents
  • Other papers that provide proof of monthly income
   California Residency
  • Housing bill/receipt
  • California DMV ID Card or Driver’s License
  • Utility bill