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COVID-19 Updates: Get the latest public information related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) at ReadySLO.org.

The Public Health Department is actively responding to COVID-19. At the same time, we continue to provide essential services in the safest way possible, including telephone or remote appointments (through your mobile phone or computer) and in-person visits when needed. 

The Health Agency is actively responding to COVID-19 and continuing to provide other essential services. Please see updates from Animal Services, Behavioral Health, Public Guardian and Public Health

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Medically Indigent Services Program (MISP)

Who can use this service?

You may qualify for MISP if:

  • You are 19–64 years old
  • You have income over 138% and up to 250% of the federal poverty level (FPL).
  • You have limited assets (cash and property)
  • You have a current medical need that MISP covers   
  • You have no other source of health coverage available
  • You are not eligible for Medi-Cal or any other public health coverage
  • You are a resident of SLO County and a legal resident of the U.S.
  • You have a qualified hardship (see list below) exemption from the tax penalty for not having minimum essential health coverage. A qualified hardship, or exemption, is the reason or cause that prevented you from obtaining health insurance. Click here for more information about the federal law, tax penalty, and the exemption.


List of MSIP 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
  • Other hardship in obtaining health insurance

What is the process?

Step 1: 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.

Step 2: 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.  

Step 3: 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

Step 4: 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.
 

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?

The MISP office is open during regular business hours except during scheduled holidays.

Frequently Asked Questions

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