Medi-Cal FAQ: What Is “Share Of Cost” And Can I Eliminate It?

Hi there, Bridget Mackay. I’m an attorney in Petaluma, California and I practice in the area of estate planning and elder law. You are watching my frequently asked questions about long-term Medi-Cal blog, which is also connected to my website. You can find them at

Question number five is, “What is share of cost and does it apply to every Medi-Cal, long-term care Medi-Cal applicant?” A Medi-Cal share of cost for long-term Medi-Cal is similar to a copay that you find in your own health insurance. When you apply, Medi-Cal will calculate your particular share of cost based on your total gross income. If you’re married, Medi-Cal will take into consideration your spouse’s income in determining your share of cost and how much, if any, your well spouse will be able to keep once you go into skilled nursing.

The difference from the regular copay, health copays, is that under most circumstances the Medi-Cal process allows the applicant the right to demonstrate a financial hardship. If they come up with a share of cost that’s going to be a hardship on your well spouse that is staying at home, then they have… There are ways that you can apply to reduce the share of cost. Once you’ve proven your financial hardship, the amount of your copay, or your share of cost, can be dramatically reduced. In many instances, it can be reduced to zero or near zero.

If you’re in the process of applying for Medi-Cal or you have someone that is looking into having to go into skilled nursing facility, always consult an experienced attorney before you even start the process.