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Office of Refugee health

​​​​How Can New Arrivals Get a Free Medical Screening in California?

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Refugee Health Assessment Program​

The Refugee Health Assessment Program (RHAP) is a free medical exam that includes tuberculous (TB) testing and vaccines. The exam also covers vaccines that are needed for green card applications. The exam is open to newly arrived refugees, asylees, victims of human trafficking, Special Immigrant Visa holders, and humanitarian parolees from Afghanistan, Cuba, Haiti, and Ukraine. The following counties have RHAP clinics: Alameda, Cont​ra Costa, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Stanislaus. Visit the RHAP County Clinics webpage for the list of RHAP clinics in California.

RHAP clinics ask patients to split their medical exam in to two visits. During the first visit, lab tests and vaccines are done. The first visit should take place within 30 days of arriving in California. The second visit covers a physical exam, lab follow ups, and referrals to needed specialty medical care. The second visit should be done within 90 days of arriving in California. You should have Medi-Cal before scheduling your appointment with the RHAP clinic after 90 days.

If you live in a county that does not have a RHAP clinic, the Office of Refugee Health has created Health Screening Guidelines for Clinicians (PDF). Please print out this document and take it to your first primary care appointment. This will help your doctor understand the health conditions that are common with new arrivals. It also has advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.​

If you are experiencing​ delays in connecting into a primary care provider (PCP) or a medical home for your care and you need immediate vaccines or tuberculosis testing, please visit the links below for additional resources. 

How to Sign Up for Medi-Cal and Public Benefits​

Within a few days of arrival to California, new arrivals should apply for Medi-Cal, and other public benefits:​

  • ​​CalFresh provides cash benefits towards healthy and nutritious food. 

  • CalWORKS provides cash aid and services to eligible families who have a child in the home. 

  • If there is no minor child in the home, Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) provides cash aid and services to Office of Refugee Resettlement eligible populations. 

  • Medi-Cal provides affordable, high-quality medical and dental care services to children and adults who meet the Medi-Cal eligibility requirements. 

Individuals may apply online on​​ ​​the BenefitsCal website​. As an alternative, applications can be submitted in person to the local county Human or Social Service Agency. The Department of Health Care Services County Offices webpage can be used to find the local county office. ​​

The California Public Benefits Fact Sheet (PDF) contains more information on how to sign up for public benefits in California.

If applying for California Public Benefits in person, the Public Benefits Application Cover Sheet (PDF) includes a checklist of necessary documents to apply for public benefits in CA.​

More information on the Medi-Cal Dental Program can be found on the Dental Care for Medi-Cal Recipients fact sheet (PDF) and on the Department of Health Care Services website. Medi-Cal can also cover transportation to medical, dental, and pharmacy visits. The Medi-Cal Transport Tool Fact Sheet (PDF) contains information on how to coordinate transportation.​​​


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