In what may be the first state in the nation to do so, California has just approved Medi-Cal benefits for same-sex couples and Registered Domestic Partners ( “RDP’s”). Acting at the invitation of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) and pursuant to state Assembly Bill 641 (Feuer), the California Department Healthcare Services just released a directive to all California County Medi-Cal Directors, requiring that an applicant in a same-sex couple or RDP relationship be, for most purposes, treated as a spouse. The order is retroactive to January 1, 2012. This directive will now extend much-needed Medi-Cal benefits to the elderly and disabled who would otherwise be obliged to impoverish themselves or their partner in order to qualify. The directive is contained in All-County Welfare Directors Letter 12-36 issued December 10, 2012.