Can a Minor Seek Medi-Cal Without the Consent of Parents or Guardians?

Researcher & Writer
January 16, 2016

There is one program that allows minors - both males and females - to seek specific health care services without the consent of their parents, and that is the Minor Consent Program.

This program is for individuals that are under 21 years old, unmarried, and still being claimed as a dependent by their parents.

The minor would still need to apply and prove eligibility to be covered. However, eligibility is based on the minor’s income and resources. Eligibility will only be an issue if the minor has a well-paying full-time job and/or multiple resources such as vehicles, a home, or a large bank account. While this may be possible, a minor with that level of independence likely wouldn’t still be claimed as a dependent.

In order to prove eligibility, the minor may need to provide proof of income if they have a job. Likewise, if they own a vehicle or other property, proof of value will need to be provided. When applying for this program, the Medi-Cal professional at the clinic or doctor’s office will be able to help.

This program does not offer ongoing healthcare coverage. Eligibility would have to be proven each month for ongoing services. This means a minor may use these services once and never again, or on a regular basis if the need is there. Many of the services covered under this program are intended for limited use.

The only services covered under the Medi-Cal Minor Consent Program are:

  • Pregnancy and prenatal services
  • Abortion
  • Family planning services including birth control
  • Treatment for sexual assault
  • Treatment for STDs
  • Mental health services
  • Treatment for Substance abuse

Minors are not required to get parental consent to apply for or utilize these services. There are also no parental notification requirements when these services are sought. Despite not needing parental consent, a minor can choose to bring a parent or someone else with them. For example, a friend or other relative may accompany the minor to their appointments.

Depending on the services needed, the minor may require more than one appointment. While seeking services covered by this program, the minor may also be provided with needed medications. For example, if you seek out treatment for an STD that requires medication, you won’t have also to apply for prescription coverage. It will be part of the services you are already seeking.

Written by
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