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Medi-Cal is a program that offers free or low-cost health coverage for children and adults with limited income and resources. It has changes in recent years and now covers many low-income children, adults and seniors. Some immigrants may qualify for Medi-Cal regardless of their immigration status.

Young Adults

On January 1, 2020, California became the first state in the country to offer healthcare benefits to young adults, regardless of their immigration status. Young adults under 26 years of age may qualify for full-scope Medi-Cal and receive access to preventative care.


If your income is high for Medi-Cal, you may be eligible to sign up for a health plan under Covered California. Financial assistance is available. Our Certified Enrollment Counselors can help you with the process.


Are you or a loved one turning 65? Do you know your options about Medicare? Now it’s the time to enroll in a Medicare health plan or prescription drug plans. If you qualify for Medicare and Medi-Cal, you may be eligible for free or low cost health plans.

Mental Health

The Community Health Initiative offers virtual mental health supports groups every Thursday from 9-11am. The sessions are FREE, confidential and led in Spanish. Participants must register to receive Zoom link.

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The Community Health Initiative (CHI) of Kern County is a program of Dignity Health, Mercy & Memorial Hospitals that works to provide access to comprehensive health insurance for individuals and families who do not have health insurance – Medi-Cal, Covered California and Medicare. The CHI specializes in health insurance enrollment, education, advocacy and post-enrollment support to ensure that Kern County residents have access to high quality health care. Program staff can also assist clients with Cal Fresh applications.

Outreach staff offers health insurance educational workshops and house-meetings at various locations throughout Kern County based on need. The Community Health Initiative receives grant funding and additional services may be provided.
All CHI team members hold a Health Access Assisters (HAA) Certification that provides them with the knowledge they need to help individuals and families get enrolled in healthcare, navigate and utilize the healthcare system. Staff members are also Certified Enrollment Counselors (CEC) and can provide counseling and assistance to those who need help applying for Covered California health plans. The CHI program collaborates with many different agencies throughout Kern County and can provide direct referrals for other needs such as housing, education, other health services, food, legal assistance and much more.