DHCS | CalHealthCares

CalHealthCares administers loan repayment on educational debt for California physicians and dentists who provide care to Medi-Cal patients, which represent one-third of Californians and half of the state’s children. Eligible physicians can apply for up to $300,000 in loan repayment in exchange for a five-year service obligation. Eligible dentists can apply for a loan repayment up to $300,000 in exchange for a five-year service obligation or a Practice Support Grant up to $300,000 in exchange for a ten-year service obligation.

CalHealthCares commits $340 million voter-approved, state tobacco tax revenues from Proposition 56 (2016) to support and incentivize physicians and dentists to increase participation in the Medi-Cal program. In April 2019, the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) launched CalHealthCares, and DHCS has contracted with PHC to administer the statewide program.

Program Status: Closed

FY 2021-2022 Cohort 4 Application Cycle opens January 24, 2022 through February 25, 2022

  • Early Review Period: January 24, 2022 through February 4, 2022 (Applicants who submit their applications during the early review period,  no later than 5:00 p.m.PT on February 4, 2022, will receive feedback regarding any inconsistencies with the option to revise and resubmit their application.)


FY 2019-20 Cohort 2: Of the 313 total awardees, 59% were persons of color, 54% were women and more than 79% work in medically underserved communities. The physician awardees are providing services to Medi-Cal patients in 40 counties throughout California, while representing 50 specialty areas of medicine, including pediatrics, psychiatry, OB/GYN, child neurology and pediatric cardiology. The dentist awardees are providing services to Medi-Cal patients in 30 counties throughout California, representing both general and pediatric dentists, as well as oral surgeons.

FY 2018-19 Cohort 1: Physician awardees are currently serving Medi-Cal patients in 38 counties across 40 specialty areas of medicine, and dental awardees are serving in 19 counties across general and pediatric dentistry. 


  • Maintain a patient caseload comprised of a minimum of 30 percent Medi-Cal beneficiaries and within 10 percent of the Medi-Cal patient caseload proposed in their application
  • Have graduated within the last five years (January 1, 2017) or will be graduating and moving towards employment no later than June 30, 2022. For dentist applying to the Practice Support Grant must have graduated from dental school or residency program within the last fifteen years (January 1, 2007)
  • Not participating in another disqualifying loan repayment program or practice support grant as of June 30, 2022
  • Have an unrestricted license and be in good standing with their licensing board
  • Be an active enrolled Medi-Cal provider without existing suspensions, disbarments or revocations or have submitted their application to DHCS to become a Medi-Cal provider
  • Have existing educational loan debt incurred while pursuing a medical or dental degree, or have an existing dental practice and willing to relocate, expand or establish a new practice to a target county
  • Practice in California

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