Yes, you are correct. Medi-Cal is the California name for the federal Medicaid program. Medi-Cal provides health coverage to people with low income and asset levels who meet certain eligibility requirements. Many people receive both Medicare and Medi-Cal. Both programs help pay for medical care.
You may be eligible for Medi-Cal benefits if you are 65 years or older. If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you will get Medi-Cal benefits automatically. If you don't receive SSI, you can still qualify for Medi-Cal as long as your income and assets are under certain amounts (see below).
You can also find detailed information on Medi-Cal eligibility at http://www.healthconsumer.org/.
To qualify for SSI, your monthly income and assets cannot exceed certain limits. In 2008 (April 1, 2008 - March 31, 2009), your monthly income cannot exceed $870 for an individual or $1,524 for a married couple. You can have up to $2,000 in assets as an individual or $3,000 in assets as a couple. These numbers change every year on April 1st.
The assets remain the same: $2,000 for an individual, and $3,000 for a couple.
Some of your personal assets - such as your home, personal belongings, and one car used for transportation - are not considered when determining whether you can get Medi-Cal coverage.
California law also allows those whose incomes are above the SSI limits to qualify for full Medi-Cal coverage under a plan called the Aged and Disabled Federal Poverty Level program. These limits also change April 1st of each year.
To qualify, a single person's monthly income must not exceed $1,097 and assets must be at or below $2,000. For married couples, the monthly income limit is $1,524 and the assets limit is at or below $3,000. Note: the SSI and A&D-FPL income amounts for couples will go up to $1,558 in June 2008.
These monthly income limits do not include a $20 disregard - an amount of additional income that does not count towards your monthly income limit.
Your home, personal belongings, and one car used for transportation are not counted as assets.
I hope this answer was helpful for you. Best of luck to you and take care.