Medi-Cal is a combined federal and California State program designed to help pay for medical care for public assistance recipients and other low-income persons. Although Medi-Cal recipients often receive Medicare, the Medi-Cal program is a separate program from Medicare.
Medicare is a federal program that will only cover long term care if you came to a nursing home directly from a hospital and require skilled nursing, physician or rehabilitation services every day. Being in a long term care facility merely requiring “custodial care” – e.g., help with personal care, with daily activities or with taking medications – is not enough for Medicare to pay your nursing home bills. Medi-Cal will pay most (if not all) of the high cost of nursing homes provided you are qualified. Because it is a need-based program, Medi-Cal recipients must pass certain eligibility requirements.
In order to qualify for Medi-Cal, the recipient must demonstrate that he or she has limited resources available. In determining eligibility, Medi-Cal classifies property owned by an applicant as exempt and non-exempt. Owning exempt property will not affect eligibility. Owning too much non-exempt property will preclude eligibility. The process of Medi-Cal planning involves redistributing assets so that they qualify as exempt property for the determination of eligibility for Medi-Cal. In addition to the asset analysis, eligibility is also based on income. A recipient may only earn a limited amount of income in order to qualify for Medi-Cal.
This explanation of Medi-Cal is simplified to provide you with a basic awareness of the program. The most important thing to recognize is that a surprising number of people could qualify for Medi-Cal if they would only do some Medi-Cal planning. We realize that dealing with government bureaucracy is confusing for most people, and we extend to you the offer of a FREE initial consultation to review your situation and advise you as to steps you can take to ensure the medical care that you need without spending everything you have worked your entire lifetime to save in the process.