Medi-Cal is relied upon by many elder Californians who are residing in nursing homes. This is the federal-state administered program that is referred to as Medicaid in most of the states.
Most people never think about Medicaid because they have private insurance through their employers and then they qualify for Medicare as seniors. However, Medi-Cal enters the picture because of the matter of long-term care expenses.
Medicare does not pay for an extended-stay in an assisted-living community or a nursing home, and these facilities are very expensive.
We would like to provide the answers to three common questions about Medi-Cal as it applies to long-term care for seniors.
1.) Since Medi-Cal is intended for people with virtually no assets, do I have to liquidate assets and spend everything before I can qualify?
The answer is no, not exactly. Some of your most valuable assets are not counted, including your home up to $802,000 in equity in 2013.
2.) If I apply for Medi-Cal because I need long-term-care, what can my spouse keep?
The healthy or community spouse may remain in the home regardless of the equity. And, he or she can retain ownership of half of community assets up to a limit that stands at $115,920 in 2013.
3.) What about giving money to my children, can I give them everything and then apply for Medi-Cal?
Many people wonder, can’t I give my assets away? The answer is, maybe, but only if it’s done just right. The law has severe penalties for people who simply give away their assets to create Medi-Cal eligibility. In California, for example, every $7,549 given away during the three years prior to a Medi-Cal application creates a one month period of ineligibility.
To learn the answers to your Medi-Cal questions, we invite you to attend one of our free Medi-Cal Planning Workshops. To see a schedule of upcoming workshops and to register, follow this link: Free Workshops and Seminars