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Home > Health Insurance Basics > Public Programs

Public Programs


Many Californians have health care benefits supported or administered by a federal, state, or local government program.

Public supported health care coverage programs include:


  • Medi-Cal is health insurance for people with low incomes. Most people with Medi-Cal have Managed Care plans, which are like HMOs.
  • Covered California is a marketplace where Californians can choose a health plan and often are eligible to receive federal tax credits to help pay the premium. Covered California plans are primarily HMOs, PPOs, and EPOs.
  • Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 and older, and for some people under 65 who have a disability. Medicare Advantage plans are usually HMOs or PPOs. Traditional Medicare (or Original Medicare) is more like fee-for-service health insurance.
  • Veterans health benefits are available to many people who served in the U.S. armed forces or were called to active duty in the Reserves or National Guard. Benefits are also available to some family members of certain eligible veterans.

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