Common Medi-Cal Questions Answered
Hi there, I’m Bridget Mackay. I’m an attorney in Petaluma, California, and I practice an estate planning in elder law. This is my video blog and I’m kind of covering some common questions I receive from people who are on Medi-Cal or seeking Medi-Cal. One of the questions I’m going to cover today is does the person getting Medi-Cal have to fill out their application? And the short answer is no. Medi-Cal allows you to appoint a representative or have your durable power of attorney agent fill out your application on your behalf and respond to any questions the eligibility worker may have of that application. Or if you are under a conservatorship, your conservator can also act on your behalf for all things Medi-Cal related. The second question in this blog I want to address is, do I qualify for Medi-Cal? I hear that often.
There are three basic requirements to qualify for long-term Medi-Cal in California. The first is you need to be 65-years-old or disabled, aged and disabled. The second is, you need to meet what they call the asset test. And the third is, and I’ll explain all of these in more detail, if that you need to be in need or currently receiving care in a skilled nursing facility or a nursing home. Number one is pretty self-explanatory as to the age, 65 or older. But disabled essentially means you’re unable to perform two activities of daily living like toileting or bathing yourself, or dressing yourself, or just overall getting around. Being able to get in and out of bed or get to other places.
The second requirement, as to the asset test, this means if you’re a single person, you may only have $2,000 in assets. This does not… When you’re calculating that $2,000, it does not include the value of your house, one car, or if you have an IRA and you’re currently getting required minimum distributions, they will not count that. But generally speaking, all other assets; bank accounts, checking accounts, CDs, brokerage accounts, all come together to make that value of $2,000. And again, if you’re a married couple and only one spouse is in need of Medi-Cal, the asset limit is higher. Per the regulations, the asset limit is $119,220. Minus all of those things I said before.
The third requirement is you’re either currently in a skilled… Living in a skilled nursing facility or you’re planning very soon to be in one. And that’s how you meet the third requirement. As I’ve said before in other blogs about Medi-Cal, this is a very tricky regulatory scheme, so consult a qualified attorney before you attempt to complete an application for Medi-Cal.