Medicaid is a jointly administered federal/state government health insurance program. It is designed as a safety net that provides health care insurance for people who can demonstrate significant financial need. In the state of California, the program is called Medi-Cal.
If you are going to qualify for Medicare when you reach the age of 65, you may initially wonder why Medi-Cal should be relevant to you when you are planning for the future. The reason why Medi-Cal is relevant to a significant percentage of seniors is because Medicare does not pay for custodial care. This is the type of care that you would typically receive in a nursing home or assisted living community.
It is not easy to dip into your checking account and pay for long-term care out-of-pocket. In the state of California, the median annual cost for a private room in a nursing home is $104,025 according to Genworth Financial.
Because Medi-Cal is a need-based program, there are asset and income limits. The asset limit for an individual is just $2,000, but all of your assets do not count. Your home is not considered to be a countable asset, and your vehicle does not count. You can also retain ownership of your personal effects, wedding and engagement rings, and household belongings.
People typically engage in a process called a Medi-Cal spend-down prior to applying for eligibility. When you spend down, you divest yourself of assets. Many people will give their children their inheritances in advance.
Rights of Healthy Spouse
In many cases, one spouse will require long-term care while another spouse is still capable of independent living. Under these circumstances, the healthy spouse is entitled to certain rights. The healthy spouse can keep half of the countable assets that are shared by the couple, but there is a limit. For the rest of 2014, this limit is $117,240.
If the spouse that is entering a long-term care facility is earning income, much of that income must go toward the cost of care. However, this requirement can be waived if the healthy spouse is relying on some of the income for support. This is called a Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance.
In 2014, the Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance in the state of California is $2.931.
Learn More About Medi-Cal
As you may imagine, Medi-Cal rules are rather complex. We have prepared an in-depth report on Medi-Cal planning that provides a great deal of very valuable information. The report is being offered free of charge, and you can obtain access through this website.
To get your copy of the report, click this link and follow the simple instructions: Campbell, CA Medi-Cal Planning Report.
Medi-Cal Planning Consultation
We place an emphasis on Medi-Cal planning. If you would like to discuss things with an experienced elder care professional, send us a message to request a free consultation.