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The mission of the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) is to provide Californians with access to affordable, integrated, high-quality health care, including medical, dental, mental health, substance use treatment services and long-term care. Our vision is to preserve and improve the overall health and well-being of all Californians.

In support of this mission, the Managed Care Operations Division (MCOD) administers, monitors and provides oversight of the contracts for the Medi-Cal program. The Health Care Options Branch gives beneficiaries resources to make informed choices about Medi-Cal benefits.

Health Care Options main functions are to:

  • Coordinate activities in the managed care counties that include outreach and education in Social Service and Community-Based Organization locations
  • Give oversight of informing materials mailed to beneficiaries
  • Monitor and evaluate the Contractor’s operations and systems

What is Health Care Options (HCO)?

Health Care Options gives health care services through networks of organized systems of care. Networks include providers such as doctors and hospitals. Networks stress primary and preventive care.

Health Care Options is in the California Department of Health Care Services. HCO’s role is to assure access to health care through an enrollment broker contractor. The contractor gives information to Medi-Cal beneficiaries about managed care plans. This helps beneficiaries make informed choices about their Medi-Cal benefits. The plans may include medical and dental care services.

The Managed Care Operations Division (MCOD) manages medical care services. The MCOD’s role is to give high-quality, accessible, and cost-effective health care through managed care delivery systems. Managed care plans improve health care access and assure quality of care. Providers who want to give services to managed care enrollees must be in the plan’s provider network.

Medi-Cal Dental Services manages dental care services. Its role is to manage the Medi-Cal Dental Program and other departmental dental programs. These programs can be governed through the fee-for-service fiscal intermediary and/or through dental managed care contracts. The Dental Managed Care Program has a comprehensive approach to giving dental health care. The program combines clinical services and administrative procedures. It gives timely access to primary care and other necessary services in a cost-effective way.

Who must enroll

Most people who have Medi-Cal must enroll in a medical plan. To learn more about who must enroll, or who may enroll, go to the Who must enroll page.

Medical plan benefits

To learn about medical plan benefits, go to the Medical plan benefits page.

Health plan materials

To learn more about each health plan, go to the Health plan materials page. You can view the member handbook, provider directory, formulary (list of covered drugs), and consumer guides for each health plan on that page.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

To learn answers to frequently asked questions, go to the Frequently asked questions (FAQs) page.