Medi-Cal is the Medicaid program in California. If you meet the eligibility requirements but exceed the income limits, you may qualify for Medi-Cal with a Share of Cost. The SOC is the amount you'll need to pay out of pocket for the months you incur medical expenses before Medi-Cal pays. Your SOC amount is determined by your income. You can't reduce the SOC unless your income changes, but there are some ways you can meet your SOC sooner.
Submitting Bills and Receipts
Health care expenses incurred, whether for you or a qualifying dependent, count toward your SOC, even if they aren't paid. If you are billed by a doctor or hospital for services you can't afford to pay, submit the bill to your Medi-Cal case worker. Unpaid medical bills can be used to meet the SOC for future months. For example, if you go to a hospital and receive a bill for four times the amount of your monthly SOC, the bill will satisfy the SOC for four months. Receipts for over-the-counter health items also count toward your SOC. The items you purchased don't have to be covered by Medi-Cal to qualify. Examples of eligible items may include cotton balls, rubbing alcohol, bandages and heating pads.
Lumping Care Together
You can schedule all your medical and dental appointments within the same month to help you reach the SOC faster. Instead of paying a little out of pocket for a visit each month, take care of your health care needs at once. For instance, if a doctor's appointment and blood work are enough to reach your SOC, Medi-Cal will kick in and begin paying for the rest of your appointments that month. You also can ask your doctor to prescribe two or three months' worth of medication. Once you meet the SOC, the rest of your medication is covered.
Jeannine Mancini, a Florida native, has been writing business and personal finance articles since 2003. Her articles have been published in the Florida Today and Orlando Sentinel. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Central Florida.