Health & Public Benefits

Kern Health Consumer Center

The Kern Health Consumer Center is a project of Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance, Inc. We are a part of the Health Consumer Alliance, a united effort of legal service agencies addressing the health access problems of California consumers.

We assist Kern County residents with problems regarding Medi-Cal, Medicare, Covered California, and private insurance plans.

Health Advocates can help you with:

  • Filing a grievance or complaint against your health plan.
  • Understanding what health care plan you qualify for.
  • Challenging a service denial.
  • Billing or affordability issues.
  • Overcoming access barriers to covered services, such as lack of timely access, geographic access, disabilities, or language access.


You have the right to get the health care you need through your health plan.

You have the right to appeal if your plan:

  • Refuses to give you health care,
  • Refuses to pay for your health care, or
  • Cancels your insurance.

Your plan must give you a notice that explains:

  • Why they made the decision,
  • How you appeal that decision, and
  • How long you have to file an appeal.

If you do not speak English and need help explaining your side of your health plan:

  • You have the right to an interpreter.
  • You may receive written information about appeal rights in your language.
  • Call your health plan to request these language services.

Medi-Cal Expansion

Beginning May 1, 2022, all eligible Californians 50 years of age or older can now get free full-scope Medi-Cal. All other Medi-Cal eligibility rules, including income limits, will still apply. Full-scope Medi-Cal includes the selection of a Managed Care Plan, access to full medical services including a Primary Physician, prescription benefits, dental and vision coverage, and more. Contact your local DHS worker for more information.

Public Benefits

The Public Benefits program assists low-income families to ensure they have sufficient resources to meet the necessities of life.

Services include assisting with denials, reductions, terminations, and over-payments of public benefits including CalWORKs (cash aid), CalFresh (food stamps), General Assistance, and In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS).

Additional services include providing counsel and advice, completing appeal forms, obtaining health and benefits records, and representing clients at hearings.


Additional Services

Health Consumer Alliance
(888) 804-3536

Covered California

Kern County Department of Human Services
Medi-Cal Application Line: (661) 631-6807

CA Department of Health Care Services (FAQs on Medi-Cal Expansion)

To Apply for General Assistance:
Apply in person at any Kern County Department of Human Services in Bakersfield
By Phone – via public line (661) 631-6000 or CAT line (877) 410-8812
By mail – Kern County DHS P.O. Box 511 Bakersfield, CA 93302
By fax – (661) 631-6573

To Apply for CalFresh:
Apply online at:
Call 1-877-847-3663 (FOOD)
Apply in person at any KC DHS

To Apply for Medi-Cal:
Call (661) 631-6807, or

To Apply for CalWorks (temporary financial support to pregnant women and eligible families):
Apply in person at any Kern County Department of Human Services in Bakersfield

To Apply for Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability:
Visit, or
Call 1-800-772-1213 to make an appointment