Medi-Cal is a healthcare assistance program created for the benefit of individuals with low income. Federal, state and local tax funds are used to assist eligible individuals in paying their medical expenses. Typically, Medi-Cal recipients are not required to pay for any covered medical expenses, except for a small co-payment. Medi-Cal is run by the state. California’s Medi-Cal program is called Medi-Cal and it provides free or low-cost health coverage for California residents. The Medi-Cal program offers 21 different health plans for managed care. The plans that are available depend on your county of residence. A common question asked by many clients is, “does California Medi-Cal provide in home services?” The answer is, yes.
California’s In-Home Supportive Services Program
California has, what is referred to as, the In-Home Supportive Services Program (IHSS). The IHSS Program will help pay for services provided to individuals, so they can remain safely in their own homes. To be eligible for this program, you must be over 65 years of age, or disabled, or blind. Disabled children may also be eligible for IHSS. This program is considered an alternative to nursing homes and other residential care facilities.
The types of services you can potentially receive through IHSS are housecleaning, meal preparation, laundry, grocery shopping, personal care services (such as bathing, grooming and paramedical services), transportation to medical appointments, and protective supervision for the mentally impaired.
Who is eligible for the IHSS program?
There are certain requirements that must be met before you will be considered eligible for this program. You must physically reside in the United States and be a California resident. You must have a Medi-Cal eligibility determination, and you must live at home. The program is not available for individuals residing in acute care hospitals, long-term care facilities, or licensed community care facilities.
How the IHSS program works
Once you have submitted an application for the program, a county social worker will interview you at your home to determine your eligibility and your need for IHSS. Based on how capable you are of safely performing particular tasks on your own, the social worker will determine the types of services you need and the number of hours the county will authorize for those services.
You will be notified if your application for IHSS has been approved. If you are denied, you will be given the reason for the denial. If approved, you will be notified of the services and the number of hours per month which have been authorized for you. If you are approved, it is your responsibility to hire someone to perform the authorized services. You are considered your provider’s employer and, therefore, it is your responsibility to hire, train, supervise, and fire this person.
How are payments for IHSS made?
The social worker assigned to your case will help you to determine the IHSS hourly rate in your county, as the wage rates may vary from county to county. The State issues all checks for individual provider payments. If the provider qualifies, the State withholds the applicable amounts for disability insurance and Social Security taxes.
If you have questions regarding in-home Medi-Cal services, or any other Medi-Cal planning needs, please contact the Schomer Law Group either online or by calling us at (301) 337-7696.