College Students Who Move to a New County for College

If you move to a new county in California to attend college, L.A. Care will cover emergency room and urgent care services in your new county.
Emergency services and urgent care are available to all Medi-Cal enrollees statewide regardless of county of residence.

Routine and preventive care are covered only in your county of residence.

If you are enrolled in Medi-Cal and will attend college in a different county, you do not need to apply for Medi-Cal in that county. 

When you temporarily move away from home to attend college in another county in California there are two options available to you. 

You may:

  • Notify the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services or call them at 1-866-613-3777 to report that you are temporarily moving to attend college and provide your address in the new county.
    The county will update the case records with your new address and county code in the State’s database.
    Use this choice if you want to get routine or preventive care in your new county. You may have to change health plans if L.A. Care does not operate in the county where you will attend college.
    For questions and to prevent any delay in enrolling in the new health plan, contact Health Care Options or call them at 1-800-430-4263 (TTY: 1-800-430-7077 or 711).


  • Choose not to change your health plan when you temporarily move to attend college in a different county.
    You will only be able to access emergency room and urgent care services in the new county for some conditions.
    To learn more, go to the “How to get care” section of this online handbook. For routine or preventive health care, you would need to use the L.A. Care regular network of providers located in the head of the household’s county of residence.

If you are leaving California temporarily to attend college in another state and you want to keep your Medi-Cal coverage, contact your eligibility worker at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services.
As long as you are eligible, Medi-Cal will cover emergency services and urgent care in another state. We will also cover emergency care that results in hospitalization in Canada and Mexico if the service is approved and the doctor and hospital meet Medi-Cal rules.

Routine and preventive care services, including prescription drugs, are not covered outside of California. If you want Medicaid in another state, you will need to apply in that state.
You will not be eligible for Medi-Cal and L.A. Care will not pay for your health care.