What Happens If You Have Medi-Cal and Other Health Insurance?

Imagine this: you’ve recently married, and your spouse is currently enrolled in Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program. Your employer offers health insurance, and you enroll your spouse under your plan. However, due to some confusion and miscommunication, your spouse ends up being enrolled in both Medi-Cal and your new plan simultaneously. She even uses Medi-Cal to cover some medication expenses. What are the potential consequences?

Understanding Dual Coverage

In most cases, having dual health insurance coverage is not a recommended practice. When you have two or more health insurance plans, it’s called “dual coverage.” Generally, you cannot receive benefits from multiple insurances for the same medical service.

In the case of Medi-Cal, it is a “payer of last resort.” This means that Medi-Cal will only pay for healthcare costs if you do not have other health insurance that can cover them. If you have dual coverage, Medi-Cal may not pay for any of your medical expenses, and you may be responsible for paying out of pocket.

Potential Consequences

Failing to disclose dual coverage to your insurance providers can be considered fraud. Insurance companies have sophisticated systems to detect dual coverage, and if they find out, they may take action, such as:

– Demanding repayment of any benefits that were paid out while you had dual coverage
– Canceling your insurance policy
– Reporting the fraud to authorities, which could result in criminal charges

Steps to Take If You Have Dual Coverage

If you realize that you have dual coverage, it’s crucial to take action immediately to correct the situation. Here are some steps to follow:

1. Notify Medi-Cal: Inform Medi-Cal that you have other health insurance and request that they terminate your coverage.
2. Contact Your Other Health Insurance Provider: Provide your other health insurance provider with your Medi-Cal enrollment information and request that they adjust their coverage accordingly.
3. Communicate with Providers: Inform all your healthcare providers about your change in insurance coverage and provide them with the correct insurance information.


Dual coverage can be a complex issue, but it’s important to handle it responsibly to avoid potential consequences. By following these steps, you can correct the situation and ensure that you have appropriate health insurance coverage. Remember, it’s always best to disclose all relevant information to your insurance providers to avoid any misunderstandings or legal issues.

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