Establishing Primary Care

Choosing a Health Plan 

When enrolling in Medi-Cal at the Department of Human Assistance (DHA) in their first week of arrival, a family chooses their Health and Dental Plans. Most families choose Anthem Blue Cross or Health Net for their Health Plans. 

Choosing Primary Care Physician (PCP) 

Families need to establish their Primary Care Physician within 30-45 days after enrolling in a plan at the DHA. If they do not chose for themselves, they will be assigned a PCP. Establishing linguistic and transportation services immediately is very important. 

It is typical in families from Afghanistan to request female doctors for the wife and older female children. In addition to a female doctor, office location and language assistance play an important role when choosing a doctor.  

Within two months after choosing their Health Plan at DHA, a family will receive a packet from their provider called My Medi-Cal Choice Health Care Options. In the latter part of the packet is a list of doctors in Sacramento County who take Medi-Cal patients. They specify which plans they accept and state which languages the doctor or staff speaks.  

  • Once they choose a doctor that fits their needs best (language, location, female doctor), the family needs to call the doctor's office to see if they are accepting new patients. 

  • In the packet, there is a prefilled Medi-Cal Choice form, write in the Doctor/Clinic Code that coincides with their chosen doctor (found in provided doctors list in the packet) 

  • Finish anything else on the Medi-Cal Choice form such as signatures

  • Use the pre-paid envelope provided in the packet to mail the Medi-Cal Choice form to: 

    • California Department of Health Care Services, Health Care Options, Box 989009, West Sacramento, CA 95798-9850 

If a family does not complete this process, Medi-Cal will choose a PCP for them.

After the family sends in their Medi-Cal Choice form via mail, they will receive their medical cards from their health provider via mail. In the end, the family will have two medical cards: 

  1. One called Benefits Identification Card (BIC) also known as Medi-Cal card (has yellow/orange flowers on them) 

  2. One that coincides with their health plan (Health Net, Anthem Blue Cross etc.) 


 ** Notes: Sacramento County Health Center has the same director as the Refugee Health Clinic (RHC) office, located at the same building as RHC, and has many benefits such as: free transportation every time, free interpretation services every time, pediatric services and takes Health Net, Molina, UnitedHealthcare and Anthem Blue Cross plans (not Kaiser). To select this doctor's office, look for a provider in the Health Plan packet with the name of Sacramento County Health Center and the address of 4600 Broadway Sacramento, CA 95820 and use that Doctor/Clinic Code.