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Medi-Cal Finally Elevates Asset Limit, First Change Since 1989

On July 1, 2022, the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) announced this welcome news that affects many populations, including older adults, that the asset limits to qualify for Medi-Cal have dramatically increased. The Medi-Cal asset limit, which had not changed since 1989 – was far below the low-income standards for many individuals in California who are defined by Covered California, the state’s health insurance marketplace, as receiving less than $47,520 per year. 

Opening up Medi-Cal benefits to a greater number of older adults will provide substantial support in both healthcare and financial matters. This new asset limit increase is expected to increase Medi-Cal access to 18,000 new beneficiaries and improve access to Medi-Cal benefits for approximately 2 million current Medi-Cal recipients. Individuals who previously were not eligible for Medi-Cal (term used for Medicaid in California), may now gain access with a new law that eases the limits placed on a person’s assets.

The increased asset limits allow a larger number of applicants to become eligible for Medi-Cal benefits, and allow qualified beneficiaries to retain a larger amount of non-exempt assets and still be eligible for Medi-Cal.  Prior to this new law, an individual’s asset threshold was severely limited. For one person, the asset threshold was $2,000, for a couple, the threshold was $3,000. This policy change is a welcome relief for thousands of older adults who may now have the ability to access this critical health support coverage.  

The new limits are as follows: 

Household Asset Limits for Non-MAGI Programs as of July 1, 2022 
Household size Asset limits 
1 person $130,000 
2 people $195,000 
3 people $260,000 
4 people $325,000 
5 people $390,000 
6 people $455,000 
7 people $520,000 
8 people $585,000 
9 people $650,000 
10 people $715,000 


This asset threshold increase will be in effect until January 1, 2024, at which point the asset limit will be completely eliminated. After this date, the financial tests to determine Medi-Cal eligibility will be solely based on income. If you would like to learn more about this important Medi-Cal policy change and see if it impacts you, please click here to go directly to the County of San Diego website. 

As always, please remember to check in on the elder orphans in your neighborhood and let them know about this change, as this can help them dramatically increase their quality of life. If you would like to continue to support our efforts, please donate here!


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