Most people are aware of the fact that Medi-Cal is only available to people with very limited financial resources. If you will retire with assets, and you are going to qualify for Medicare, you may wonder why Medi-Cal would ever be relevant to you.
It would be logical to assume that Medicare would help if you were to require long-term care. However, in reality, Medicare does not pay for custodial care. Most seniors will need living assistance eventually, so this is a very big deal, because long-term care is very expensive.
Medi-Cal does pay for living assistance, and this is why it does become relevant to many Medicare eligible seniors who were never financially needy.
Medi-Cal and Your Home
Since Medi-Cal is a need-based program, there is a low asset limit. If you want to qualify for Medi-Cal, the value of your countable assets cannot exceed $2000. The low asset limit is the bad news, but the good news is that some things that you own are not considered to be countable.
Here in the state of California, your home is not considered to be a countable asset, and there is no equity limit at all at the present time. In other states, the home is not countable, but there are equity limits.
You can still qualify for Medi-Cal to pay for long-term care even if you retain ownership of your home. However, you do have to be aware of Medi-Cal recovery efforts. The program is required to seek reimbursement from your estate after you pass away, so your home could be attached if it was always in your direct personal possession.
It would be possible to give away the home to avoid estate recovery. However, this should not be done without first consulting with an experienced and qualified elder law attorney to avoid unexpected liability and tax problems.
Free Report on Medi-Cal Planning
Given the state of long-term care costs, you should certainly understand the Medi-Cal program when you are looking ahead toward your senior years. If you would like to learn more about it, download our in-depth special report.
The report is free, and you can access your copy through this page: Sacramento Medi-Cal Planning.