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: Application cycle is closed

Awardee Resources

Application Resources 

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CalHealthCares administers loan repayment on educational debt for California physicians and dentists who provide care to Medi-Cal patients. It is a publicly funded program through voter-approved tobacco tax revenues (Proposition 56 in 2016) and administered by Physicians for a Healthy California. CalHealthCares has awarded 859 physicians and dentist across three cohorts who serve Medi-Cal patients through various California counties. CalHealthCares is entering its fifth application cycle, FY 2022-2023, in which the program strives to continue increasing access to care for Medi-Cal patients.  

FY 2018-19 Cohort 1: Infographics | Physician Fact Sheet | Dentist Fact Sheet
FY 2019-20 Cohort 2: Infographics | Physician Fact Sheet | Dentist Fact Sheet
FY 2020-21 Cohort 3: Infographics | Physician Fact Sheet | Dentist Fact Sheet
FY 2021-22 Cohort 4: InfographicsPhysician Fact Sheet | Dentist Fact Sheet


  • 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 applied to DHCS to become a Medi-Cal provider
  • Have graduated within the last five years (January 1, 2018) or will be graduating from a residency or fellowship program no later than June 30, 2023. For dentist applying to the Practice Support Grant must have graduated from dental school or residency program within the last fifteen years (January 1, 2008)
  • 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
  • Not participating in another disqualifying loan repayment program or practice support grant as of August 1, 2023
  • Not concurrently participating in a residency or fellowship program as of July 1, 2023
  • Practice in California or willing to relocate to practice in California
  • Be employed, self-employed or have a validated offer of employment by August 1, 2023
  • 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 

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