If I'm reading the descriptions of Medi-Cal correctly, low income alone is enough to qualify you for free medical coverage.

So, if you are taking a sabbatical, working on your own startup (that isn't making money) or just decided to drop out of the workforce for personal reasons, you should qualify?

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    Wealthy people usually end up with at least some income in form of interest, dividends, capital gains (even if you don't trade you may get cap gains distributions from funds), retirement RMDs, social security, etc. It all adds up.
    – littleadv
    Commented Dec 16, 2021 at 0:31
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    @littleadv Yeah, I was looking for a word that means "does not need income", but didn't come up with one.
    – MWB
    Commented Dec 16, 2021 at 0:45
  • What I'm trying to say is that you may have income regardless of whether you need it. If you're wealthy enough to live off of your wealth, you've got investments that lead to dividends, interest, cap gain distributions; if you're retired - you got RMDs and SSI - you have them whether you need them or not.
    – littleadv
    Commented Dec 16, 2021 at 3:41
  • @littleadv: do you really mean SSI, Supplemental Security Income? That is only for people with minimal income and 'countable' assets under $2k single or $3k couple, not very likely here. If you mean the regular Social Security most people get, commonly called a 'retirement' benefit although it isn't actually tied to retirement, the official name of that is OASI, Old-Age and Survivors Insurance. But you aren't required to take OASI (ever), unlike RMD from trad plan or IRA. Commented Dec 17, 2021 at 3:22

1 Answer 1


It is theoretically possible that with zero income like that you may qualify for Medi-Cal. However there are more conditions than just income. Some that might apply are:

  1. The income considered is not just your income but anyone in your household. If a spouse or partner earns money you probably won't qualify.
  2. Any income will count. If you are earning money from investments then they are considered income.
  3. You also don't qualify if you have assets over $2000 (for one person). House, car and some insurances are exempt, but any other savings are going to disqualify you

The intention is to cover those who can't afford it. If you can afford to pay your bills, you probably won't qualify.

If you still think you qualify, read the detailed qualification requirements


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