There are some myths that circulate with regard to nursing home expenses. We endeavor to clear up these misconceptions from time to time on this blog. Today we will look at a common elder care question.
Medi-Cal & Long-Term Care
Before we get to the specific question, we should provide some basic background information. Most seniors will qualify for Medicare when they reach the age of 65. You are probably aware of the fact that Medicare is a government health insurance program.
Medi-Cal is California’s version of the Medicaid program. This is also a health insurance program, but it is specifically intended for people who can demonstrate a significant level of financial need. If you qualify for Medicare, you probably would not qualify for Medi-Cal, and you wouldn’t need it, because you would already have health insurance.
In spite of the above, Medi-Cal is important to many seniors who were qualified for Medicare, because Medicare does not pay for long-term care. Medi-Cal does pay for custodial care, and this is why it is relevant to a significant percentage of seniors who were never financially needy.
Debunking a Myth
If you were to enter a nursing home without Medi-Cal coverage, you would be entering into a private arrangement with the nursing home. The nursing home would not automatically get any portion of your assets. You would be required to satisfy your contractual agreement with the nursing home, just like you would have to pay hospital bills if you had no insurance.
However, if you were to violate your contractual agreement and fail to pay for your care, you could be sued by the nursing home. Under these circumstances, your assets, including your home, could be attached if you were to lose the lawsuit.
You could prevent this possibility if you were to qualify for Medi-Cal before you enter the nursing home. If you have resources, you can implement Medi-Cal planning techniques so that you have very little left in your own name when you apply for coverage.
Many people give assets to their loved ones so that they can qualify for Medi-Cal if and when they need long-term care. Advance planning is key, because you have to complete your gift giving at least 30 months before you apply, or your eligibility will be delayed.
Discuss Medi-Cal Planning With a Professional
The majority of senior citizens will someday need assistance with their day-to-day needs and long-term care expenses are something that most people will face. Living assistance is very expensive, and it is difficult to impossible for most people to pay comfortably out-of-pocket for nursing home care.
Medi-Cal is the solution that makes the most sense for many people. If you would like to discuss Medi-Cal planning with an elder care professional, contact us to set up a free consultation: Campbell CA Elder Care Planning.