When you hear about the Medi-Cal program, you may immediately draw certain conclusions. Medi-Cal is a needs-based program, so you may assume that you must impoverish yourself to qualify for Medi-Cal coverage.
First off, it is important to understand why Medi-Cal is relevant to senior citizens who will be qualified for Medicare. Some elders will need long-term care eventually, and Medicare does not pay for such living assistance. Medi-Cal does pay for long-term care, and this is why many seniors want to qualify for Medi-Cal at some point in time.
There is an upper asset limit of $2000 for an individual, so this can lead to the impoverishment assumption. However, the equation is more complicated, and impoverishment is not a given if you plan ahead effectively.
Medi-Cal rules are very complex. There are assets that are countable with regard to the $2000 limit, and there are other assets that are not counted. Your home is not considered to be a countable asset for determining eligibility, and this is a very significant factor to take into consideration.
One vehicle would not be counted, and your wedding ring, your engagement ring, and your heirloom jewelry would not be countable. You could have a whole life insurance policy valued at up to $1500, and you could have unlimited term life insurance.
Medi-Cal would not count your household goods, and your personal belongings would not be counted either.
If you are married, your spouse would be allowed to keep half of the shared countable assets up to a particular limit. Plus, your spouse could continue to draw from income that is due to you if it is needed.
With regard to the assets that are considered to be countable, you could give them to your loved ones before you apply for Medi-Cal coverage. To do this effectively, you must plan ahead in advance, because there is a 30 month look-back in California. Certain gift giving must be completed at least 30 months before you submit your application. However, there are currently effective strategies that can be used to make such transfers within 30 months of an application.
If you were to give gifts within this 30 month look-back, unless proper steps are followed, your eligibility would be delayed.
We have provided some basic information in this blog post. If you would like to learn more about how you may be able to use Medi-Cal to pay for long-term care without losing a lot in the process, download our special report.
This report is being offered free of charge, and you can access your copy through this website. To get your copy of the report, click this link and follow the simple instructions: Sacramento CA Medi-Cal Planning Report.
Free Medi-Cal Planning Consultation
If you would like to take things a step further and discuss things with a licensed professional, send us a message through our contact page to request a free 15 minute telephone screening consultation: Sacramento CA Elder Law Attorneys.