Nursing home asset protection is a very big deal when you understand all of the facts. It would be natural to assume that Medicare will pay for nursing home care if you ever need it, but in reality, the program does not pay for custodial. The Medicare program will often cover rehabilitative care after release from a hospital following an injury or illness, but it will not pay for custodial care.
Paying out-of-pocket is really not a sensible option for most people, because long-term care costs are exorbitant.
Medi-Cal is California’s version of the nationally offered Medicaid program. This program does pay for long-term care if you can obtain eligibility.
In most states, including California, there is a $2000 limit on countable assets for unmarried indivuals. As a result, people often give assets to their loved ones before they apply for coverage, but this takes careful planning.
You generally cannot hang on to your assets until and unless you find out that you need long-term care and then give gift to your loved ones if you want to obtain immediate eligibility. Around the country, there is a five-year Medicaid look-back. Your eligibility is delayed if you give away assets within five years of applying for Medicaid coverage.
In California, things are different, at least for the time being. The look-back in our state is just 30 months, so you don’t have to look ahead as far if you live in California. With the assistance of an experienced and qualified elder law attorney, you often can successfully make gifts even within the 30 month look-back period.
There is another advantage that Californians enjoy over people in other states. Your home is not considered to be a countable asset for Medicaid purposes if you are a homeowner. However, there is a limit on home equity.
The maximum equity limit that a state can allow during the 2015 calendar year is $828,000, and the minimum is $552,000. However, in California, there is no equity limit at all.
For now, things are better in the state of California, but the parameters are supposed to become uniform at some point in time.
Regardless of the exact nature of the laws that are going to be applicable if and when you start to plan ahead with long-term care costs in mind, this is a very serious matter, and it is relevant to every one of us. You may assume that you will probably never need long-term care, but in fact, seven out of every 10 seniors will someday need living assistance.
If you would like to obtain more detailed information about Medi-Cal and nursing home asset protection, download our in-depth special report. This report is being offered free of charge at the present time, and you can click the following link to obtain access to your copy: Free Medi-Cal Planning Report. As en experienced and qualified elder law firm, we can assist with both Medi-Cal and VA benefit planning.
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