Medically Indigent Services Program (MISP)

What is the process?

Find out if you qualify for other coverage.

Before you apply for MISP, find out if you qualify for Medi-Cal. MISP can help you with this step, or you can get information and apply for Medi-Cal at Covered California. If you're eligible for Medi-Cal, then you're not eligible for MISP. Medi-Cal provides long-term and full-scope health coverage. MISP provides short-term and very limited coverage.

If your income is too high for Medi-Cal, then find out if you qualify for financial assistance, or subsidies, towards purchasing a private insurance plan at Covered California. Unlike MISP, private insurance plans provide long-term and full-scope health coverage.

Call for an appointment

Call MISP at (805) 781-4838 to start the application process. If a representative is not available, please leave your name, phone number and best time to call you back.
The MISP representative is available to talk with you about eligibility and to schedule an appointment with you to apply in person for MISP. The MISP representative may also help you to apply for Medi-Cal or insurance through Covered California.  

Bring required information to application appointment.

Bring the following documentation with you to your MISP application appointment.

  • Government issued photo ID with date of birth. Any one of the following:
    • Social Security Card
    • U.S. Birth Certificate
    • U.S. Passport Naturalization Certificate
    • Alien Registration (Green Card)
  • Any one of the following to show your current address is in SLO County:
    • Current California Driver’s License or ID card
    • Most recent filed tax return
    • Rent receipt, bank statement, utility bill, or pay stub that includes name, recent date, and local place of residence
  • Current bank statements, retirement or pension fund statements, and life insurance policies
  • Signed copy of most recent filed federal tax return
    • If self-employed, also include Schedule C or F and last 3 months’ profit and loss statements
  • If current income is very different from tax return, then provide other documentation:
    • Last 3 pay stubs showing gross monthly income and dates paid
    • Current statements from other potential sources of countable income (listed below): 
      • SSA (Retirement, Disability, Survivors)
      • Retirement income  (IRA, 401(k), Pension, etc)
      • Unemployment benefits
      • Self-employment profits
      • Tips
      • Commissions
      • Royalties
      • Dividends
      • Annuities
      • Rental property
      • Tribal gaming distributions

Follow up

Applicants have up to seven (7) working days to provide MISP with all information requested. MISP may extend the deadline based on circumstances. 

Applications will be denied if applicants fail to provide all requested information within the time frame specified.

Who can use this service?

List of MISP Qualified Hardships:

  • Coverage is unaffordable: The lowest-priced coverage available (the Bronze Plan), including any premium assistance, would cost more than 8 percent of household income
  • Became homeless
  • Evicted in the past six months, or facing eviction or foreclosure
  • Received a shut-off notice from a utility company
  • Recently experienced domestic violence
  • Recently experienced the death of a close family member
  • Recently experienced a fire, flood, or other natural or human-caused disaster that resulted in substantial damage to one’s property
  • Filed for bankruptcy in the last six months
  • Incurred unreimbursed medical expenses in the last 24 months that resulted in substantial debt
  • Experienced unexpected increases in essential expenses due to caring for an ill, disabled, or aging family member


Is there a charge for this service?

There is no fee to apply for MISP, but you may have to pay your providers some of the costs of your health care before MISP will pay the remainder. See the Share of Cost Fact Sheet or call MISP at (805) 781-4838 for more information.

When and where is this service offered?

This service is available throughout the year during regular business hours (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.) except during scheduled holidays.

We are located at 2180 Johnson Avenue in San Luis Obispo. To find our office, follow the signs for MISP or ask the receptionist for the MISP office on the first floor. 

We also hold office hours at Public Health Department sites around San Luis Obispo County as needed and take appointments at these locations for those who have difficulty getting to San Luis Obispo. Call 805-781-4838 or contact us by email to arrange an appointment.

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