Dual Coverage FAQ’s

See also our MAIN Dual Coverage  page and more recent FAQ’s  

98 FAQ’s – comments on “Dual Coverage?

Medi Cal, Employer Group, Individual, Cal Medi Connect & Medicare

  1. I am debating on whether to sign up for UCSHIP at Berkeley or to opt-out. 


    I am also on my parents’ Medi-Cal with Kaiser through LA Care and HealthNet Dental.

    1. Can I have both insurances at the same time or will I get dropped from Medi-Cal?

    I know when I am on campus I should go to the University Health Services facility for care.

    However I’m a little confused about where I should go when I am back home.

    2. Can I still go to the usual Kaiser facility and HealthNet Dental Provider?

    I don’t want my parents to to get a huge bill when I get treatment at home.

    How would the insurance work?

    Please help. Thank-you in advance!

    • We are not Medi Cal representatives nor do we get any compensation or support to help you. 


      1. Please re-read our webpage above. It’s all about having Medi Cal and other coverage OHC. The other coverage pays first. See the letter we got from Medi Cal explaining some of the more common FAQ’s we’ve come across.

      2. I don’t see any reason you can’t go to Kaiser. Just be sure to report to Medi Cal that you have other coveage.

      See above contact information for Kaiser & Medi Cal. Check with them.

      • I plan on driving for Uber & Lyft in the near future. 


        They both offer stipends for Heath Insurance policy costs. They do not however, offer the stipend on Medicare.

        I was recommended by someone to obtain a low cost supplemental Private policy to qualify for the stipend. I can understand Uber/Lyft disqualifying Medicare Part A (hospitalization) because that is of no cost to me; but I cannot understand why Parts B (outpatient/medical), C (via Kaiser HMO) or D (prescription drug) are disqualified (as well) when I have to pay $145/mo out-of-pocket for BCD

        It doesn’t seem equitable for Uber/Lyft to discriminate against one type of out-of-pocket policy over another.

        That is why I am researching for Private carrier insurance to supplement Medicare. I’m not referring to Medi-Gap.

        Thank you!

        • Here’s what we have on Covered CA and Uber/Lyft paying 82% of the Bronze Premium


          You might try taking a dental policy, life insurance or something, but that doesn’t seem to fall into the agreement that Uber/Lyft made with ???

          If you have Medicare Part A for free, it’s illegal for Covered CA to write you up. However, if you already have Covered CA, it doesn’t seem they have to cancel you, they just won’t give subsidies. Our webpage on that.

          I’m not sure what you mean by a supplement to Medicare, other than Medi Gap or MAPD. With MAPD how are you going to get a bill to send to a supplemental carrier.

          Please review our webpage referenced above on the Uber/Lyft agreement to pay 82% of Bronze and ask questions there. We haven’t read all the material. We haven’t had a single uber/lyft driver ask us to get them coverage.

          Prop 22 has been declared unenforceable, so I don’t even know if the stipend is still valid.

  2. Medi-Cal to Private Insurance 


    1) I quit my job and I enrolled in CoveredCA but I was referred to and approved by Medi-Cal. I didn’t want Medi-Cal and I got Private Insurance at full price from Blue Shield since I was within the 60 day SEP period and cancelled Medi-Cal.

    Now I only have Blue Shield.

    Is that ok?

    2) This is a hypothetical question.

    If I had enrolled for Cobra instead would I still have been able to switch to Private Insurance within the 60 day SEP period.

  3. I have an adult son with Asperger syndrome


    I am looking for information and assistance regarding his rights rights and resources he might be eligible for.

    He is turning twenty-six in November.

  4. I have my primary medicare A and B. I also have medi-cal. Otherwise known as medi-medi. 


    Lots of doctors are now opting out of the medi-cal part.

    I offered to pay them the balance of what medicare doesn’t pay. They say they’re not allowed to bill me the balance, it’s against the law because they’re not a medi-cal provider member.

    Am I allowed to buy a supplement to medicare so these doctors will see me?

    I don’t want to lose my medi- cal however, as I get my IHHS benefits from them.

    Will it be legal to buy a supplemental policy of choice eg: Blue Shield, to offer to the doctors who won’t see me otherwise.

    I’ve called SS and medi-cal and asked if it was ok and they just say, “Uh, I think so”!

    That answer is not good enough for me. Incidentally, my son will be paying for my supplimental premium.

    I appreciate your time. Thank you!

  5. My 22-year-old disabled son has private insurance as primary and Medi-cal as secondary insurance. 


    His Medi-cal insurance was not a HMO plan until March 2020 when we were told that we had to choose a Managed Care Plan for him.

    According to some of your former replies, it seemed that my son shouldn’t be forced to choose a HMO Plan?

    That said, he currently has Healthnet PPO and Santa Clara Family Health Plan.

    My question is

    whether you know is it beneficial for us to continue his Healthnet coverage starting 2022?

    Because of his secondary being HMO, we need to get referrals prior to seeing any specialist anyways.

    Thanks much.

    • I really need to see the EOC Evidence of Coverage for both plans. 


      Do you like being able to use the PPO Provider List for Health Net rather than the HMO list for Santa Clara Health Plan?

      Why do you have to use the secondary HMO? What are your co-pays with Health Net? What is your premium with health net?

      How about appointing us as your broker on Health Net? Your own coverage?

      • Dear Steve, 


        thank you so much for taking the time to answer my online questions.

        I have compared the EOBs [Explanation of Benefits] from both Healthnet and Santa Clara Family Health Plan.

        SCFHP in fact covers more but obviously, the providers get less money from them.

        I have checked that Stanford does take SCFHP and zero copays for my son. I just have to make sure my son gets all the meds and medical equipment he needs with only SCFHP. I will be reaching out to his current providers to see if there will be a problem having just SCFHP. It’s more and more obvious to me that having only SCFHP may suffice.

        We are already working with a local insurance agent to get our coverage from Healthnet.

        Thanks for your offer to help!


  6. 7 comments on “HMO – Managed Care Providers”

    1. Teri L says:
      Stanford Medical told me I would have to drop my Medi-Cal to get their full financial assistance (charity care)? 


      I was told that I could not come to Stanford for any health care if I was a Medi-Cal recipient……… because then Stanford would be commiting FRAUD. I was told I would have to ‘quit’ my Medi-Cal or get the permission from Kaiser (who I have for my Medical-Cal) to see a ‘out of network’ surgeon…….

      How do I opt out of Medi-Cal?

      If I quit or gave up my Medi-cal , will I be able to reinstate it or reapply when I am ready…assuming I still qualify/?

      • Anonymous says:
        I could spend on private insurance to at least see the doctor of my choice if not be treated by him. 


        I know little about how PPO plans work…could I literally buy an $800 a month plan just long enough to consult with Dr. xx?

        Continue it just long enough just to be treated? Or would there be contracts and delays?

        I’m also concerned Cedars might refuse to give me an appointment without the medi-cal being fully cancelled.

        I’m willing to cancel it but again there could be delays from state documenting cancellation.

    2. Anonymous says:


      I have blood in my stool. Medi-Cal won’t let me have a colonoscopy for 3 months.

      What can I do to get an appointment sooner?

  7. Our son is on Medi-Cal in LA County; will be moving to Berkeley (Alameda County?) in August. 


    Will he lose his Medi-Cal coverage if he signs up for SHIP…or more accurately, does not opt out of SHIP?

    He is not our dependent and is over age 26…on Medi-cal for more than three years.

  8. I am in a dilemma, 


    1 I didn’t know I was approved for Medi – CAL (California) until I was taken to the emergency room (there were several bills, one for the facility, one for services rendered, and one for the doctor in the ER) visit unconscious.

    2 I didn’t know I had any bills because I have TRICARE SELECT, US Military. I was under the impression Tricare was taking care of the bills.

    3 I recently received calls that were being blocked by ROBOCALLER. Once I unblocked it I realized that the hospital billing was actually not a bad idea to figure out. Around $15k and I am still dealing with it.

    4 My social security # and my address were incorrectly put in by the hospital. (and probably by good reason due to my head injury).

    5 Where do I start, I am updating with TRICARE SELECT. as we speak.

    6 But to be honest, I don’t even think I should have been approved for MEDI-CAL. I have tried to reach out to the local office where I had applied online for food benefits, still waiting on that response after 14 emails, no calls are answered, and I have no idea what to do there.

    7 If so, and I leave the past approval of the Medi Cal in place, who is responsible for this bill? First payer and who is the second payer?

    8 I realize it is out of the timeframe to file with Medi-CAL but the hospital didn’t have my information on file correctly, I never received a bill either nor was it ever to mind because I had a head injury. It was after 3 different companies, all being “bad collection” systems one lady finally said my social out loud. It was off by one digit. Updating that with the hospital now to.

    9 It came from the White House that insurance companies have to consider the Pandemic, does that pertain to Medi-CAL?

  9. 3 comments on “Medicare – Dual Coverage – Subrogation”

    1. Anonymous says:
      I’m turning 65 and I have an individual plan that doesn’t have a co-ordination of benefits clause along with a Covered CA plan. I’ve been able to collect twice as the individual plan doesn’t have a co-ordination of benefits clause. 


      I’m turning 65, it appears that my individual plan, won’t duplicate benefits with Medicare.

      Does that mean I can’t collect twice? Can I collect up to 100%?

      Medicare Duplicate

      • Coordination of benefits (COB) allows plans that provide health and/or prescription coverage for a person with Medicare to determine their respective payment responsibilities (i.e., determine which insurance plan has the primary payment responsibility and the extent to which the other plans will contribute when an individual is covered by more than one plan). 


        Ensures that the amount paid by plans in dual coverage situations does not exceed 100% of the total claim, to avoid duplicate paymentsCMS.gov

        noun: duplicate; plural noun: duplicates
        one of two or more identical things.
        “books may be disposed of if they are duplicates” Google

    2. Dual Coverage Questions from a website visitor 
      Answered in Interlineation




      My wife (I have full authorization filed for disclosure) is 69 and coverage by traditional Medicare (A and B) and also has group health insurance under a group of less than 20 employees.

      ***Thus Medicare pays first.

      She had an accident and fractured her teeth requiring implant and new porcelain/ceramic pontics.

      ***Thus Medicare would pay for an accident, but not routine dental.

      Claims were submitted to BCBS of Florida who says we should have first submitted the claim to Medicare.

      ***That’s correct, as Medicare pays first, then your group plan picks up the rest.

      I have already paid directly for the services.

      We reside in Florida and there were two D.M.D.’s (Doctor of Dental Medicine – same as DDS) involved in providing the services.

      What do you recommend?

      ***I suggest that you just send the bill to Medicare.  Then resend to your group plan, once Medicare has paid.

      (Also, when we look at my wife’s profile online

      ***Do you mean her Medicare profile? http://www.MyMedicare.Gov?

      it doesn’t list the supplemental carrier at all. How to we correct that?

      ***Send me your password privately and I’ll figure it out.  Medicare also has a customer service and live chat on the website.  They should be able to help you.

  10. 36 comments on “Dual Coverage – NOT Medi Cal – Who pays 1st? Collect Twice? Individual Plans”

    1. Anonymous says:
      Primary vs Secondary in emergency 


      We cover adult employed daughter under age 26- she received coverage from her new employer November 1.

      On November 14 she was in a bad accident and required emergency care. She gave her Blue Shield information. Her injury and subsequent care have been extensive including emergency spinal surgery in December.

      We just received notice from Blue Shield that effective November 1 Kaiser was primary and should be paying the costs.

      What are our rights in this case?

      The notices from Blue Shield are addressed to us as she is the dependent.

      • We need to see the letter you got from Blue Shield. We are not allowed to accept hearsay


        M. “Primary plan” means a plan whose benefits for a person’s health care coverage must be determined without taking the existence of any other plan into consideration. A plan is a primary plan if:

        (1) The plan either has no order of benefit determination rules, or its rules differ from those permitted by this regulation; or
        (2) All plans that cover the person use the order of benefit determination rules required by this
        regulation, and under those rules the plan determines its benefits first. NAIC Model Rules

        So, if you don’t go to Kaiser they won’t pay. Thus, Blue Shield will pay at a non kaiser facility.

        Do NOT take this answer to the bank. We need the letter and your EOC’s Evidence of Coverage. If you don’t have ready access to your EOC, give us the exact name of your plan, we probably have access to them.

        FYI, Medi Cal doesn’t allow one to get an HMO if other coverage is available!

        Kaiser Group Information

        Blue Shield Individual & Family Information

        Our webpage on reading Insurance Policies and the Law – Read 3 times, then when you think you understand it, read again.

        • Lisa G says:
          Thanks for your response! 


          The letter that my husband received from Blue Shield, after looking more carefully this morning, are actually copies for his information that were sent to the health care facilities and the hospital where she was taken. The letters tell the facilities that they should be billing Kaiser.

          If you’d like a copy to see what it says, please let me know how to get it to you, or if you’d just like the transcript here.

          Also, the coverage we have had for a few decades is Blue Shield of CA, HMO.

          • My email is encrypted coming and going by http://www.Paubox.com or you can upload to https://www.paubox.com/steveshorr/upload 


            I need an EXACT name of the plan that you have with Blue Shield and your daughter has with Kaiser. If it’s an individual plan, it might not be allowed to have a co-ordination of benefits clause, see webpage above for citation.

            Since your daughter was in the hospital for an emergency, Kaiser would probably have to pay for it, even if not in their facility.

            Please advise exact name of plan. The EOC is 10 times easier to review, than trying to piece together all of the various laws and statutes.

            • Lisa G says:
              I just sent a copy of the letter to the link you provided. And the name of the insurance we carry is Blue Shield HMO, Pomona Valley Medical Group Inc. DBA, Pro Med Health Network A+… Does that help?
              • Steve Shorr says:
                No, I need the exact name of the plan or your EOC. Please visit the links above for our Group and Individual Blue Cross pages. It’s my understanding from above that there is no co-ordination of benefits on an individual plan. 


                Rather than spend hours researching the law, pro bono, the answer is in your EOC.

                How about sending a copy of your ID card?

              • Here’s the relevant portion of the letter from Blue Shield to the hospital. 


                subrogation letter

                • This is just a routine letter from Blue Shield letting the hospital know that under the rules for Coordination of benefits, Kaiser is supposed to pay first. If there is any portion of the bill that Kaiser doesn’t pay, then Blue Shield will pay up to their limits. It looks all routine to me. 


                  I believe your concern is that you think that Blue Shield is saying you HAVE TO GO TO KAISER and not Blue Shield. There is nothing in the letter that says that.

                  I’m sure if you send me the EOC’s there is nothing there that says that.

                  Go to whatever MD you want, as long as they are on Blue Shields or Kaiser’s list.

                  • Lisa G says:
                    It seems to be quite tricky to actually FIND our EOC docs! My husband has sent and email to his HR department because the Blue Shield member page tells us “we may not be able to access” all the documents, and it seems the EOC is one of them? Is there a way around this if his HR department doesn’t come through?
                    • Go to our Blue Shield Employer Plan administrative Webpage 


                      Then click on the forms image

                      Watch Loom Video for more details

                      No one is telling you that your daughter must go to Kaiser, right? So, why worry? What difference does it make which plan pays first for the emergency care? The 2nd plan will pay after the first one does.

                      Normally, we do NOT deal with 3rd parties for competent adults. If you are going to ask more questions, we need you to “certify” that your daughter is too severely injured to handle this on her own.

                      Here’s where we enrolled a woman in Covered CA who had been in a major accident with her parents. When she got better we were accused of Fraud, etc. as she qualified for Medi Cal. Comment 1 ** 2

            • Lisa G says:
              Forgot to add… we literally have no record of the Kaiser plan. It was provide through a small organization in northern California called Animal Place. I believe it’s small group insurance in that case. Nothing fancy…
              • Try asking your daughters employer. Kaiser has dozens of different offerings. I’ll grant that their group plans may all have the same co-ordination of benefits… but why gues? Just let me know the exact plan, then we can review the EOC.
            • Lisa G says:
              I just sent the Blue Shield EOC.
              Please advise on where to look for information related to this case.
              Thanks so much!
                • Lisa G says:
                  Thanks so much Steve – your information thus far has been amazing for us! The video was awesome and if we need further help, I’ll surely reach out to you!
                  Thanks again!
    2. This is a cut and paste from a prior Q & A to consolidate our website 


      What are the rules with dual coverage in regards to
      COBRA for the husband & a group plan for wife?

      The Primary (person A)

      ***[How do I know, who is primary? I need to see the documents]

      If you are covered as an employee, member or subscriber under more than one plan, but are covered under state or federal continuation (COBRA) under one of the plans, then:

      The plan covering you as an employee, member or subscriber is primary over the plan covering you under state or federal continuation (COBRA). illinois.gov

      has health insurance through their job, loses job, continues COBRA coverage for the family, meets the maximum deductible of $4000, [individual and/or family deductible] they have 0% out of pocket expenses now except for the monthly premium of $1,442.

      Mid-year the spouse (person B) now gets a job with health insurance coverage through their employer.

      The premium is much less $338, deductible of $3,000 with 80% coverage for in-network.

      If they cancel the COBRA, then they pay a new deductible +20% of medical charges incurred. If they overlap and have dual-coverage, then they are really paying extra money for the second medical plan $338/month with little benefit

      ***I don’t quite follow, sounds like more benefit

      -since they’ve met their deductible and pay 0% out of pocket.

      What if the family has dual coverage for 1 month, then after the second month they cancel COBRA?

      Do they still have to meet the new deductible of $3,000?

      ***I’d have to see the new policy. I doubt there is any take over provision.  Thus, yes.

      Does the insurance company only look at charges that have occurred within that month of dual coverage in order to determine if deductible B $3,000 has been met?

      ***Deciding what medical bills go to the deductible has nothing to do with having other coverage.

      How do they determine when it’s beneficial to have dual coverage?

      ***The Insurance Company doesn’t decide if it’s better for you. That’s your decision. Why pay $1,442 to have dual coverage? In two months, you have the $3k deductible taken care of.  Also, the $338 contribution as the employer is paying the rest of the premium, is probably tax deductible, if the employer has set up a Section 125 POP Plan.

    3. This is a cut & paste of a question we had on another page. We are putting it here, to better consolidate our website and put everything in a more logical order. 


      The links and formatting get lost in the cut and paste. Just use our search engine at the top, when you need more detail on any of the technical terms.

      I have pretty good Cobra Insurance (Health Net PPO, eligibility expires 12/17), however, I am concerned with the current political climate, Obama Care may go away

      ***Here’s where I’m keeping up on the status. donaldcare.healthreformquotes.com

      and when I am no longer eligible for Cobra, it might be difficult to get insurance due to pre-existing condition or other medical related risk factors becoming a factor as they were in the past. To protect against that, I would like to get a Blue Cross PPO now

      ***Click here to get proposals, benefits, subsidy calculation etc. http://www.quotit.net/eproIFP/webPages/infoEntry/InfoEntryZip.asp?license_no=0596610

      In the past we had HIPAA for those who lost COBRA. There was also MR. MIP – High Risk Pools.

      and just continue it until my Cobra expires.

      ***Losing COBRA gives you a Special Enrollment Period

      So therefore, I would have two health plans. My current Cobra group plan and an individual/family Blue Cross PPO plan.

      The questions I have are:

      Can I have two health plans (I’m not trying to commit fraud, I understand I cannot get paid more than the bill).
      Dual Coverage & Co-ordination Rules

      Let’s see if the question is asked on the paper application – I’m looking at doing this direct, no Covered CA no subsidies. For subsidies, the answer would definately be NO.

      Question G 2 asks about other coverage and if you plan to cancel it. So yes, you would have to disclose other coverage. I doubt they would write you. If it’s that important to you I could email them and ask. I could also check the ACA rules and see if the ACA law says you can buy coverage, even if you have other coverage.

      Do I need to tell Blue Cross?
      Yes, since they ask.

      Can I pick and choose who I want to use, if Blue Cross

      Please get a quote proposals, benefits, subsidy calculation. I don’t think Blue Cross has a PPO in your area. Try Blue Shield.

      has a doctor I like or pays more benefits for a particular procedure, can I only use them.

      These questions are quite complex and I think I’m going to have to charge a research fee for them. Under ACA, I practically have to work for free.

      See our page on Dual Coverage, see also the rules in the current evidence of coverage, if we can even get you an extra policy, that we do NOT recommend that you purchase!

      The same for Health Net PPO, use them if they are more beneficial for the procedure I have. – Please answer for Blue Cross, I have already got Health Net’s comment.
      Verbal comments are worthless!!!

      See the rules on dual coverage, basically the 2nd company pays up to 100% of what the first one didn’t. It may well be that there is NO co-ordination of benefits clause on two INDIVIDUAL policies. Thus, you could collect more than 100%, which is why I don’t think you will get a policy issued, if you plan to keep the first one.

      Note too, that I won’t give an answer, unless I can show it too you in writing or the law. I don’t want to have to pay the claim out of my pocket.

      My intent it to cancel my Health Net policy down the road

      I think you should keep it, till you really want to move and it expires. There is also Cal COBRA, which gives you another 18 months of coverage.
      but I have had it for 15 years and am leery just to let it go.
      Also, I go to doctors who do not take insurance. Can I go to doctors who do not take insurance and not let Blue Cross know I am having a procedure done?

      If you have a PPO, you could still turn in the claim. When a MD says they don’t take insurance, that just means they don’t agree to the negotiated rate, they still will cash the check.
      Usually the bills are below the deductible or I don’t want to wait for an approval – like an MRI)

      The question is beyond my pay grade.

    4. Anonymous says:
      I worked at a company that paid fully for our health benefits. I quit, but they didn’t take me off their coverage for 6 months. They prior insurance company still paid for my Rx Prescriptions. 


      One of the medications that was claimed with my old insurance needed a prior authorization in order to fulfill. Since my new insurance won’t cover it who is liable?

      Will the ACA clause regarding recession of coverage protect me from having to pay?

    5. Anonymous says:
      How does Medi-Cal work with Employer Coverage?
    6. Anonymous says:
      Can I get subsidies from Covered CA if I have another individual policy that I’m paying for.
      • Steve Shorr says:
        Here are the Covered CA questions on other coverage. I don’t see a question about individual plans.
        • Steve Shorr says:
          The Covered CA Paper application does ask about coverage one buys on their own
          • Steve Shorr says:
            Grandfathered Plans count as MEC – Minimum Essential Coverage http://bit.ly/2CWFpo0 


            BUT, the IRS Flow Chart on page 5 of Publication 974 http://bit.ly/2DwU4Yo says individual plans don’t count. So, I guess you are good. Please double check with competent tax and/or legal counsel.

      • Kevin Knauss says:
        IRS Instructions to Form 8962, “Coverage in the individual market outside the Marketplace. While coverage purchased in the individual market outside the Marketplace is minimum essential coverage, eligibility for this type of coverage does not prevent you from being eligible for the PTC for Marketplace coverage. Coverage purchased in the individual market outside the Marketplace does not qualify for the PTC.” 


        While it looks like rules allow people to have both on on-exchange and off-exchange health plans, and receive the APTC, I don’t think people should expect the health plans to completely cover any health care claim twice.

  11. Please expand on this paragraph: 


    “Under federal law, your private health insurance must be billed first before billing Medi-Cal. Medi-Cal may be billed for the balance, including your other plans co-payments, co-insurance, and deductibles. See below about if you have a Medi Cal HMO.”

    We have (Blue Shield HMO) (paid by employer); and (Medi-Cal via IEHP; no-shared-cost)….

    It would seem that most medi-cal providers do not bill correctly for this dual-coverage; and we end up paying for these copays; when we never paid them before… More coverage = less benefits…

    I went to the hospital for infection; the bill for nearly $3000; with approx 40% paid by insurance; so we received bill for approx 60%…

    The hospital said we must pay an additional $50 copay; before they can resubmit the bill to insurance…

    1) How should providers be billing in cases of medi-cal with additional insurance; specifically with copays, deductibles, etc…
    2) Should/can I seek reimbursement for these fees paid?

    • First off, I don’t get paid to help people with Medi Cal. It’s Covered CA’s branding to have a no wrong entry… but yet there is no compensation or support. 


      2nd if you have other coverage like your employer plan, you can’t get a Medi Cal HMO. See response from Medi Cal Ombudsman below.

      Did you report your employer coverage to Medi Cal?

      Yes, I would try to get reimbursed… The problem is, do you really want to cancel IEHP and use fee for service?

      On the other hand, you have no choice but to report your employer health coverage and go on fee for service.

      • >>> [Other Health Coverage (OHC) and Medi-Cal]…
        My family has been on (Medi-Cal via IEHP) since at least 2012… My wife got employed at a local college in 2019; after the Covid-19 pandemic… We notified medi-cal; as required by law; of both added income and 2nd insurance (Blue Shield HMO, paid by employer)…




        Medi-cal enrolled us in “transitional coverage”, good for 3-6months…. Due to laws, my state coverage could not be terminated during the Covid pandemic, so lucky to maintain my coverage.

        So my questions; issues; was in regard to copay/deductible fees for (OHC)(Blue Shield HMO) services; should be paid by (Medi-Cal via IEHP)… The service providers have been making me pay these fees out-of-pocket… I tried to argue that fees not paid by (OHC); should be paid by (Medi-Cal via IEHP)… How should I proceed?!?

  12. My daughter and I have medi cal but my husband doesn’t. He has Medicare because he is disabled. 


    My daughter and I have medi cal dental and medi cal insurance.

    My job offers dental and vision.

    Can I put my whole family on it?

    Or does my daughter and I stay with medi cal dental.

    Can I just enroll my husband through my work?

    Thank you for your time.

    • I presume that you and your family meets the “standard” definition of dependents for employer groups right? 


      So, why not cover everyone under your employer plan? It would save the people of CA money on their taxes!

      What is the employee contribution to add yourself and your dependents?

      It’s clear from the webpage above and citations that if you have other coverage it must be reported to Medi Cal.

      I’m having trouble finding a citation that you must report “available” coverage.

      There are situations where Medi Cal will pay for Employer Coverage. Does your employer offer health coverage?

      See this article about Medi Cal and Employer Coverage.

      I really need to see the information from your employer as to what their plan will allow for you to enroll yourself and your family…

      Check back in a day or two… I’ll check with the Medi Cal ombudsman.

      • Reply from Ombudsman 


        Good afternoon Steve,

        Thank you for contacting the Office of the Ombudsman.

        If a Medi-Cal beneficiary is not receiving other health coverage then Medi-Cal will remain their primary insurance and although other coverage is offered by their employer, if they opt out of the plan, then that information does not need to be reported. It’s only reported when it is active.

        Have a wonderful weekend.

        Best Regards,

        Office of the Ombudsman, 360
        Managed Care Operations Division
        ( (888) 452-8609 | * [email protected]

  13. My 19 year old son was in a skateboarding accident in February and is in a coma with a traumatic brain injury. We currently care for him at home 24/7 but have been told that there are some services that would be available to us through Medi-Cal (IHSS, etc) if he gets on Medi-Cal. 


    We are currently on a Kaiser HMO through Covered CA but will be transitioning to a Blue Shield PPO (individual plan, not through Covered CA) in January so that he has access to more and better doctors that specialize in his condition. I have been told that we can put my son on Medi-Cal because of his disability (which gives us access to other social service benefits) but I am leery about getting him on Medi-Cal for fear of managing the PPO and Medi-Cal with respect to doctor access and such.

    If he is on Medi-Cal (not MAGI Medi-Cal… but because of his disability) and on a PPO, will it impact our access to doctors, hospitals, treatments, etc? Will the PPO in any way be allowed to defer to Medi-Cal for doctor selections? Or would it be just like we had a PPO plan with no concern for Medi-Cal?


  14. My three children have primary insurance through their fathers employer, and secondary medi-cal under a waiver program due to their disabilities. 


    I’ve been told they must stay on FFS [Fee for Service] or straight medi-cal since they have primary, and cannot choose a managed care plan in our county (Alameda).

    They have ABA therapy with thousands of dollars of copay a month—straight medi-cal will not cover ABA therapy, but the managed care plan would.

    Is it correct we cannot choose a managed care plan since we have the primary insurance for them?

  15. Hi,
    My family has private insurance through Covered California (healthnet).




    I recently became pregnant and found out that my insurance plan doesn’t cover some things associated with prenatal care; such as ultrasounds and some testing.

    I also found out that they only cover 60% of labor and delivery.

    My husband was the one who chose the insurance and he didn’t know how the deductible worked at the time.

    Now I am worried about the costs that are going to rack up for prenatal care, as well as labor and delivery.

    Is it possible to apply for Medi-cal as a secondary insurance to help pay for ultrasounds, testing, and deductibles associated with pregnancy related healthcare??

    This is our first year of not being on free state healthcare and I am really confused by how this would work.

    Any direction would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!

  16. I have anthem blue cross ppo through college as student. 


    Also, I have full scope medi-cal which is managed by alameda alliance which enrolled me in kaiser.

    I went to a doctor in network with blue cross, that doctor also is in medi-cal network.

    Will medi-cal or alameda alliance or kaiser pay for my out of pocket cost?

    Deductible was high so I’m trying to see how that coordination will work because it’s two competitors?

    I think I saw somewhere that if local plan won’t pay that claims can be submitted under statewide medi-cal?

    Please help.

  17. We’re a provider for ABA Applied Behavior Analysis services only (not a medical facility). 


    A client has Medi-Cal as their secondary insurance and would like us to bill Medi-Cal; however, we are not contracted with Medi-Cal as of yet (we our contracted with Molina). So I have a couple of questions:

    1. Can I still bill Medi-Cal for services already rendered?
    2. Can the parent submit receipts to Medi-Cal for paid services on their own behalf for reimbursement?
    3. Is there a phone number of someone I can contact directly to help with questions such as these?

    Thank you in advance for your help.

  18. We recently relocated to California. 


    My teenage son is autistic and he qualified for Medi Cal through our district regional center and not based on financial need.

    I had also enrolled him with Cigna through my work with $1500 deductibleI was told all doctors visit needs to go through my primary health insurance first. But I have to pay the first $1500 out of pocket.

    Is there any way I could keep my private health insurance while benefit from Medi Cal?

    Any advice?

  19. My child has health insurance through her father’s employer and straight medi cal through my application for her and myself. 


    I was told when picking up her medication that medi cal doesn’t cover copays.

    My daughter had 4 prescriptions to pick up so i had to pay out of pocket for them.

    I had to pick and choose since i was short on funds and paid $25 for 1 inhailer.

    Should medi cal of paid the copay since it what was not covered by the insurance?

    • We don’t like hearsay and we will research an authoritative answer for you. 


      Here’s our page on what Medi Cal covers

      Things might get confusing as Medi Cal assigns you, if you don’t pick one to an HMO.

      So, let’s see for example what LA Care offers.



      What your health plan covers
      This section explains all of your covered services as a member of L.A. Care. Your covered services are free as long as they are medically necessary. Care is medically necessary if it is reasonable and necessary to protect life, keeps you from becoming seriously ill or disabled, or reduces pain from a diagnosed disease, illness or injury.

      L.A. Care offers these types of services:
      • Outpatient (ambulatory) services
      • Emergency services
      • Hospice and palliative care
      • Hospitalization
      • Maternity and newborn care
      • Prescription drugs
      • Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
      • Laboratory services
      • Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
      • Mental health services
      • Substance use disorder services
      • Pediatric services
      • Vision services
      • Non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT)
      • Non-medical transportation (NMT)
      • Long-term services and supports (LTSS)
      • Transgender Services
      Read each of the sections below to learn more about the services you can get.

      Prescription Drugs
      Covered drugs

      Your provider can prescribe you drugs that are on the L.A. Care preferred drug list (PDL). This is sometimes called a formulary. Drugs on the formulary are safe and effective. A group of doctors and pharmacists update this list.
      • Updating this list helps to make sure that the drugs on it are safe and work.
      • If your doctor thinks you need to take a drug that is not on this list, your doctor will
      need to call L.A. Care to ask for pre-approval before you get the drug.
      To find out if a drug is on the PDL or to get a copy of the formulary call 1-888-839-9909 (TTY: 711). You may also visit the L.A. Care website at http://www.lacare.org/members/member-services/pharmacy-services.

      Sometimes L.A. Care needs to approve a drug that the provider prescribed. L.A. Care will review and decide on these requests within 24 hours.
      • A pharmacist or hospital emergency room may give you a 72-hour emergency supply if they think
      you need it. L.A. Care will pay for the emergency supply.
      • If L.A. Care says no to the request, L.A. Care will send you a letter that lets you know why and what other drugs or treatments you can try.


      If you are filling or refilling a prescription, you must get your prescribed drugs from a pharmacy that works with L.A. Care. You can find a list of pharmacies that work with L.A. Care in the L.A. Care Provider Directory at lacare.org. You can also find a pharmacy near you by calling 1-888-839-9909 (TTY: 711).

      Once you choose a pharmacy, take your prescription to the pharmacy. Give the pharmacy your prescription with your L.A. Care ID card. Make sure the pharmacy knows about all medications you are taking and any allergies you have. If you have any questions about your prescription, make sure you ask the pharmacist.

      Check out our link above for Life Insurance

  20. I am a provider and I can’t seem to find out rates Medi-Cal will pay for Behavioral Health codes


    Client has primary and this would be for their secondary.

    Here is one of the codes- H2019. Can you help?

    The Medi-Cal rates do not contain these codes so I called Medi-Cal where they told me they have the description of each code but not the rates and for me to call Medicare (Noridian Health Care Solutions) where they said Medicare does not cover these codes.

    I know that Medi-Cal covers but I can’t see to find rates for the codes we use. It’s for Behavioral health-ABA.

  21. I have SSI and Medi-Cal and work pt. 65 years old soon six months. I have a BON with Sutter Health PLUS but the county sent me booklets trying to force me On managed health care plans Sutter took for established patients so they must say that but are no longer taking these plans. I have to file an exemption to keep straight Medi-Cal my secondary and they denied it because they once took these plans! Nurse failed to write a justification letter for me. Sutter health PLUS is only for Sutter! I will lose my treatment plan and will become ill without it! 


    I thought it you had a primary insurance dual coverage shared cost I wouldn’t need to enroll in another plan. It says that like Medicare pays first! If I don’t have treatment I will get serious sick! The San Joaquin plan here doesn’t cover the medications I am on! Pharmacy said they don’t! It won’t work! No one seems to know what they are doing with the exemption forms! If I have dual coverage why and I being forced to take a policy that will hurt me? Ombudsmen referred me back to county! Long ago when I was on blue cross I found out a county worker forgot to put in my primary insurance.

    If I am On SSI why am I being forced?

    I have Medi-Cal from SSI disabled but work part time I also have Sutter health plus a HMO. Dual coverage. This is a shared medical cost. Recently they sent me managed health care plans and I won’t be able to use Sutter not taking new manager health care patients and my hmo at Sutter is only Sutter doctors. Can they force me for managed health care plans and lose my treatment? Sutter has to acknowledge they do have manage care patients. I read an article on here if I have share of cost I don’t have to enroll in a plan

    I’ve also asked for help from https://www.ca-mentor.com/

  22. When a person has MEDI-CAL and accident medical group insurance, in the event of an eligible accident under the group, who pays first
      • I have SSI and Medi-Cal and work pt. 65 years old soon six months. I have a BON with Sutter Health PLUS but the county sent me booklets trying to force me On managed health care plans Sutter took for established patients so they must say that but are no longer taking these plans. I have to file an exemption to keep straight Medi-Cal my secondary and they denied it because they once took these plans! Nurse failed to write a justification letter for me. Sutter health PLUS is only for Sutter! I will lose my treatment plan and will become ill without it! 


        I thought it you had a primary insurance dual coverage shared cost I wouldn’t need to enroll in another plan. It says that like Medicare pays first! If I don’t have treatment I will get serious sick! The San Joaquin plan here doesn’t cover the medications I am on! Pharmacy said they don’t! It won’t work! No one seems to know what they are doing with the exemption forms! If I have dual coverage why and I being forced to take a policy that will hurt me? Ombudsmen referred me back to county! Long ago when I was on blue cross I found out a county worker forgot to put in my primary insurance.

        If I am On SSI why am I being forced?

        I have Medi-Cal from SSI disabled but work part time I also have Sutter health plus a HMO. Dual coverage. This is a shared medical cost. Recently they sent me managed health care plans and I won’t be able to use Sutter not taking new manager health care patients and my hmo at Sutter is only Sutter doctors. Can they force me for managed health care plans and lose my treatment? Sutter has to acknowledge they do have manage care patients. I read an article on here if I have share of cost I don’t have to enroll in a plan

        I’ve also asked for help from https://www.ca-mentor.com/

  23. I have a foster adopted child age 3. She is on med-cal but want to add her to our Sutter Health Plan to continue speech services. Is this possible will one of the plans be taken off?
  24. My 26 year old daughter is on SSI and has MediCal. She has been disabled since birth. We had her on our insurance through my husband’s company since with ACA she could stay on our policy. The PPO was her primary and MediCal was backup. She has complex health problems and once she turned 18 MediCal covered whatever the PPO didn’t. She has been working very part time (10 hours per week) for the last two years and when she turned 26 her health insurance started to be paid for by her employer also a PPO. Can she still have MediCal as backup?
    • She still qualifies for SSI right? 


      So she can still keep Medi-Cal

      Use our site map above and we have a page where it says they do you have SSI you automatically get Medi-Cal

  25. Disabled child was provided full scope medi-cal through the Institutionally deeming medicaid waiver. http://www.acts-at.com/resources/FUNDING/Institutional-Deeming.pdf 


    Child is also on parent private employer sponsored insurance too.
    How should the billing/claims process happen when child only sees Medi-cal CenCal providers? Who is the Primary? and who is the secondary?

    Can the parent take the disabled child off the private out of state self funded employer plan

  26. I have Blue cross PPO and medi-cal anthem blue Cross as a secondary. 


    I am wondering what my medi-cal covers after my PPO.

    Is aflac Choice (hospital) option 1, a decent idea for me or worthless because medi-cal will cover most costs after my PPO?

    Or would Aflac benefit me in covering/refunding some expenses?

    That possibly medi-cal won’t cover all of?

  27. 1 I have Medi-Cal now. 


    2 My work is going to add a (very high deductible) insurance plan for us part-timers.

    3 Just wondering if it would be better to NOT take the new (crappy insurance) and just have Medi-Cal.

    4 I know that if you get private insurance they are considered the primary insurance.

    5 I hear horror stories of how when people have a private insurance, that Medi-Cal won’t pay for stuff because they expect the other insurance to pay for it.

    6 Plus, i also hear that I would also have to find a doctor who takes BOTH the new insurance and Medi-Cal which really limits the choices of doctors.

    7 Are these things true?

    What are the pros and cons?

    If it would be better to have a primary insurance PLUS Medi-Cal, then maybe I should get my own and pair that up with Medi-Cal.???

    • 2. What premium will you have to pay? 


      Is is more than 9.66% of your MAGI Income – Line 37 of your 2018 Tax Return?

      Does the Employer Plan meet “Minimum Value?” – Bronze Level?

      3. You might not be able to qualify for Medi-Cal if your work is offering Bronze Level at an affordable premium. What is your expected MAGI Income for 2018?

      4. Double check that in your Medi-Cal policy and above in the Medi Cal and other coverage section of Medi-Cal what it means to you.

      5. Exactly. Why should the tax paying public pay for your health care if you have an employer plan that will?

      6. I don’t get paid to help people with Medi Cal. This is an interesting question. Read the other Q & A on this page. Check your policies. Check with your doctors. Use our Contact Page and Call Medi Cal. Check with your Employers Agent. Check with your Medi Cal HMO Provider.

      7. I don’t get paid to go into this…

      Here’s where you can get quotes for unsubsidized plans, as if you qualify for Medi Cal, you won’t get subsidies. I doubt that getting an individual plan would be of benefit for you.

  28. I have a toddler. 


    She was covered under my employer plan from birth (Sharp plan) I am no longer working for the employer and coverage ended october 31, 2017.

    We have coverage through covered california (Sharp plan) since november 1, 2017.

    I have custodial custody.

    Her father decided to add her to his employer health plan during open enrollment in October 2017 to take effect January 1, 2018 (Kaiser plan). He did not tell kaiser my daighter [daughter] has coverage with sharp.

    Is it illegal for my daughter to have dual health insurance when she is covered under covered california?

    If not, is there not a conflict when it’s two different providers?

    What are the legal code/rules in determining who’s insurance is primary?

    • Check out page on dual coverage for more information on determining which plan is primary and how they co-ordinate coverage. If you have more questions on dual coverage, please ask on that page. 


      Please note that we can be your agent with Covered CA at no additional charge to you. Here’s instructions to make that change. Covered CA is not paying me a salary to help people. I only get paid when I’m appointed as an agent. I do not get paid at all to help people with Medi-Cal.

    • There is generally no problem with having Covered CA and another plan. 


      The problem you have here though is that your daughter is eligible for an employer plan at less than 9.66% of employee income.

      So, if you were to pay full price – no subsidies for the Sharp Plan, you would be OK.

      You are mandated to report this change to Covered CA within 30 days.

      I’m not a family law attorney nor have I read your Marital Settlement Agreement. I don’t see that your having custody is an issue. There may well be a health insurance order mandating your husband to put your daughter on his insuranace if the premium is reasonable.

      When you appoint us as your agent, we can help you with doing what you want on your daughters coverage and keeping the subsidies for the rest of your family.

  29. If the Company you worked at got bought out by an other company, and your status changes from contractor to full time employee, are you still eligible for Medical if you can’t afford the premiums or out of pocket insurance plans they offer using your annual income? My position is outside sales, with a home office, now I am having even more expenses than before, due to the new company’s contract. I can not afford what they offer in regards to healthcare coverage.
  30. We are sort of confused. 


    Currently we have medi-cal, and we are able to purchase HMO medical coverage from employer to have access to more providers than one or two medi-cal provides for the whole county.

    We are suppose to go to the HMO provider first and paid the deductible, which is quite high, or can we decide which provider to go to base on our needs?

    If we are required to go to the HMO providers first, which most of them doesn’t accept medi-cal, then we are forced to pay all the copay and deductible.

    If we don’t want to pay anything, then we need to find a provider that accepts medi-cal AND is in our HMO network so it can bill both the private insurance and medi-cal so we don’t have to pay anything?

    Basically, if we want better access to providers then we use our HMO, and pay for each visit, or go to the limited medi-cal providers and pay nothing, expect the monthly premium for the HMO.?

    • Excellent Question. 


      I do not see any problem with going to whichever plan fits your needs at the time you choose service. While the Employer HMO would pay first, that’s only if it’s obligated to, that is you went to a network provider. Coordination of benefit rules apply if two or more policies are collectible

      I’m not a salaried Medi-Cal eligibility worker, you should double check.

      Here’s more research:

      This is one of the frustrations that I have in the Medicare – Medi-Cal market and if it’s “proper” for me to sell HMO MAPD Medicare Advantage Plans to those on Medi-Cal, Cal-Medi Connect.

      To answer your question with “Full Authority” I would have to see the dual coverage – co-ordination clauses in your Medi-Cal HMO and the Employer Group Plan HMO.

      Here’s the Blue Cross Medicare Coordination Plan see pages 40 – 42

      You are correct, if you use the employer HMO plan, they don’t pay for non network providers.

      See Chapter 1 Section 10

      Follow the links and find your evidence of coverage. Health Net asks you to call them at 1 800 675 6110 so that they can co-ordinate benefits.

      Blue Cross Employer HMO on Page 105 spells out Coordination of Benefits and only appears at first read to apply to Medicare or other group plans.

      Please see the reporting requirements to Medi-Cal on page 8 of Medi-Cal, what it means to you.

      Excerpt from Western Poverty Law

      Individuals with other health coverage may be eligible for Medi-Cal, but they must apply for and use other health coverage that they have or that is available to them.54 Medi-Cal beneficiaries who are enrolled in managed care are also subject to this requirement due to current contracting provisions,55 which can make coordination difficult between the Medi-Cal managed care plan and the other health coverage plan.

      California is obligated to seek other sources of health coverage and to collect payment from liable third parties.56 This is mainly for coverage that is available at no charge.

      • So much “fine prints” to read and understand! All we want is have more and easier access to specialist than then few med-cal specialist available in our county. 


        For primary care it really doesn’t matter which provider we go to because it is all covered by HMO or medi-cal.

        For specialist we will just have to decided which provider to go base on the service that we need.

        What about prescription? I assume it’s the same?


      • I asked one of my clients who has a Blue Shield PPO and Medi-Cal about how the two plans work. Here’s an excerpt of her response: 


        I can’t respond because my daughter doesn’t have an HMO. She has a PPO. When I read the above, it seemed to cover it pretty well.

        Her Medi-Cal benefits only seem to apply to drugs that are not covered by Blue Shield. Otherwise, it all goes through Blue Shield.

  31. 1 I have a kid and she is eligible for MAGI Medi-Cal.
    2 And I have applied for it and she has it active now.
    3 And I purchased UNSUBSIDIZED private insurance ONLY for my kid through Covered California.
    4 For some reason, I need both Medi-Cal and private insurance.
    5 I did not apply insurance for my own.
    6 Can my kid have both Medi-Cal and unsubsidized private insurance purchased from Covered California?
    • 3. I wasn’t aware that one could get unsubsidized coverage from Covered CA when qualified for Medi-Cal. I guess you applied for Medi-Cal direct though your county agency and not Covered CA, right? When you applied for Covered CA, you did not ask for subsidies? 


      4. Why do you need both?

      5. Do you mean for yourself? You only have coverage for your daughter? You can get free no obligation quotes by clicking here.

      If your daughter qualifies for Medi-Cal, you would likely qualify for major subsidies. This might be a problem, as when you list dependents, so that your Federal Poverty Level is lower, then Covered CA will let Medi-Cal know. This might mess up the private insurance you have through Covered CA. You could still purchase private coverage during open enrollment directly through an insurance company, with us as your agent, no charge.

      6. Yes. See above though about getting coverage for yourself. What good is her having coverage, if G-d forbid you get sick and can’t take care of her or pay your own medical bills. See the webpage above how private insurance co-ordinates with Medi-Cal.

      • 1 Yes you’re right. I don’t know how my agent worked on the application in Covered California. 


        2 I applied through Covered California with agent’s help. My income is eligible for Medi-Cal. But I did not know that at first.

        3 Anyway, my application (for my kid only) was sent to Medi-Cal review automatically and it was approved.

        4 I also purchase unsubsidized health plan through CC with full payment for my kid only.

        5 I still don’t know how my agent could do this with putting income information in it.

        6 Because, I wanted to have both [Medi-Cal & Private) . I went to Medi-Cal office and the worker told me I can have both if I want.

        7 But, few days later, my health plan (unsubsidized plan) was canceled automatically due to Medi-Cal eligibility.

        8 I just found out yesterday.

        9 My kid has severe illness and I just need both Medi-Cal and private insurance. (let’s say it is just for my preference)

        10 Anyway, now… my kid has Medi-Cal active. but I still want private insurance, [for the kid] . (dual coverage).

        11 Then can I purchase private insurance outside of CC now?

        12 And can have both, Medi-Cal and private insurance?

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