Medi-Cal is California’s version of the Medicaid program that is jointly administered by the federal government along with each respective state government. This program is very important for many senior citizens, because it will pay for long-term care. Most people will need living assistance, and Medicare will not pay for custodial care.
Because Medi-Cal is a need-based program, there are income and asset limits that you must stay within to qualify for coverage. In spite of this, many people who were never financially needy do use Medi-Cal to pay for long-term care. They typically obtain eligibility through a spend down. This is a divestiture of assets. You could give assets to your loved ones before you apply for coverage.
Medi-Cal Look-Back Period
There is a Medi-Cal look-back period to contend with if you are aiming toward eligibility. You must complete your gift giving at least 30 months before you apply if you want to obtain timely coverage.
If you are married and your spouse is remaining in your home, you don’t have to worry about the Medi-Cal look-back. On the other hand, if you are not married, and you give your home to someone during the Medi-Cal look-back period, a penalty would be imposed, and your eligibility would be delayed.
There are however some exceptions to this rule. In some cases, a child may be living in the home providing care. If your child was residing in your home providing you with care for at least two years prior to your entrance into a nursing home, the rule would be waived. You could transfer ownership of the home to your child, and there would be no penalty.
Plus, there is also the matter of Medi-Cal recovery to take into consideration. Your home is not considered to be a countable asset by the Medi-Cal program. However, if you maintain personal possession of the property while you are in a nursing home, the program could seek recovery after your passing. The home could potentially be attached.
Once again, there is an exception that applies to child caregivers. If your child was providing you with in-home care for two years prior to your entrance into a nursing home, the property would not be subject to Medi-Cal recovery.
Elder Care Consultation
All the rules and regulations governing the Medi-Cal program can be very confusing. This is understandable, and you may have questions.
We would be glad to answer these questions for you so that you can go forward in a fully informed manner. Our elder care professionals have a great deal of expertise, and we offer free consultations.
To set up an appointment, send us a message through our contact page: San Jose CA Medi-Cal Planning.