The Medicare program is relied upon by most senior citizens. You become eligible for Medicare coverage at the age of 65 if you have accumulated at least 40 retirement credits. You accrue credits as you earn taxable income throughout your life.
You may feel confident about your health care needs being met during your retirement years because you will qualify for Medicare. The wildcard is the matter of long-term care.
Medicare does not cover long-term care. A stay in an assisted living community or nursing home is considered to be custodial care, not medical care. Most people are going to need living assistance at some point in time.
Medi-Cal is California’s version of the national Medi-Cal program. This is a need-based health insurance program that is jointly run by each respective state government along with the federal government.
Medi-Cal will pay for long-term care. For this reason, many people who were qualified for Medicare coverage ultimately rely on Medi-Cal to pay for living assistance.
Because the program is need-based, there are certain parameters that you must stay within if you want to qualify for Medi-Cal. Your resources are evaluated, but the value of your home does not count. So you can in fact qualify for Medi-Cal without losing possession of your home.
You can qualify for Medi-Cal to pay for long-term care as a homeowner, but the state is required by federal mandate to seek recovery after your passing.
People ask the question “can the government take my home?” The sentiment is understood, but it is a bit of a skewed question. If you are utilizing Medi-Cal to pay for perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars of long-term care, the program would not literally be seeking to “take your home” after you pass away.
This need-based, government run program would be seeking reimbursement for monies paid on behalf of a deceased individual who died in possession of a valuable financial resource. The person in question would not need a home, because he or she would no longer be with us.
This being stated, you could plan ahead in advance with the realities of Medi-Cal recovery in mind. This could include divesting yourself of personal ownership of your home.
If the home in question is not in your personal possession at the time of your death, it would not be subject to Medi-Cal recovery efforts.
This is a brief look at a rather complicated question. If you are a homeowner who would like to learn about Medi-Cal planning in detail, we invite you to contact our firm to schedule a free consultation. We also regularly offer free Medi-Cal Planning Workshops and invite you to register for an upcoming workshop by following this link: Free Seminars and Workshops.
Our elder care professionals have a thorough understanding of Medi-Cal recovery rules and regulations, and we would be more than glad to assist you.
- 2024 Federal Estate and Gift Tax Update (VIDEO) - November 16, 2023
- National Long-Term Care Awareness Month (VIDEO) - November 13, 2023
- Proposition 19 and Repeal the Death Tax Act (VIDEO) - November 3, 2023