Medi-Cal, or the California version of Medicaid is a State and Federally funded program to provide for the cost of Long-Term Skilled Nursing to those who financially qualify. It is not the same thing as Medicare. If you, a spouse or loved one has a long term illness and requires 24-hour care in a nursing home (skilled nursing facility), you may qualify for these benefits that will pay for the majority of your care and prescriptions.
If you have a spouse or loved one who is already on Long Term Care Medi-Cal and has a home, the government can recover any monies they spent on their care upon the death of your loved one. Recovery means the government will place a claim on existing assets of your loved one after they die, sometimes taking the whole estate! You can protect a home from recovery by very specific legal actions and with the help of a qualified attorney.
There are many myths out there about getting Medi-Cal and how to do it. However, if you follow any of the misinformation, you can risk not getting your loved one qualified or losing your home!
How do I get started?
In order to qualify for Medi-Cal each applicant must meet a strict set of financial rules. However, there are many legal exceptions to the rules. And there are many allowances set out in the Medi-Cal code that provide applicants with a less stringent set of rules and regulations.
Many people believe that a family must spend down all of their life’s savings in order to qualify for Medi-Cal. That is not the case. The Medi-Cal rules are a compilation of many different federal and state laws. Some of those laws conflict with themselves. And many simply do not apply to residents of California. Our California system allows applicants to re-characterize their assets through differing methods such as; sales, transfers, leases, life estates and other available steps. Spending down does not have to mean going broke in order to qualify for Medi-Cal benefits. Through the legal use of a combination of the laws, California residents can keep their assets and qualify for Long Term Care Medi-Cal benefits.
To get started or learn more, contact our office. We can expertly guide your through the process of applying, qualifying and protecting your assets after you are on Medi-Cal.