Medi-Cal is the California Medicaid program that will pay for a stay in a nursing home or an assisted living community if you can qualify. Because there is a small upper resource limit of $2,000, your first thought may be that there is no way that you can qualify for the program because you are a homeowner who has some savings.
In fact, it is possible to qualify for Medi-Cal while keeping assets in the family. The Kaiser Family Foundation tells us that seven out of every 10 individuals who are residing in nursing homes around the country are indeed Medicaid recipients. Many of these people are homeowners.
The reason why individuals who retired in reasonably good financial condition often rely on Medi-Cal to pay for long-term care is because it is extraordinarily expensive. Here in the greater Bay Area, the average annual expense for a year in a private room in a nursing home is over $100,000.
Given these figures, you could be faced with a suffocating expense late in your life if you had to spend multiple years in a nursing home.
Medi-Cal can provide a solution, and it is useful to understand the fact that you need not lose your home to qualify for Medi-Cal. The value of your home is exempt from consideration if your spouse or a dependent is still living within the home when you enter long-term care.
Additionally, though states are required to seek repayment after the death of a recipient, the house will not be in harm’s way as long as a dependent or your spouse still uses it as a primary place of residence.
If you would like to learn more about Medi-Cal planning, I invite you to register for and attend one of my free Medi-Cal Planning Workshops.