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Horizon Elder Law & Estate Planning Blog

Saturday, October 31, 2020

How to Help Your Elderly Loved One Qualify for Medi-Cal

Medi-Cal is the Medicaid program in California. Federal and state taxes fund the program. It provides medical services for children and adults who have limited resources and income. With the help of a California Medi-Cal planning attorney, you can help your elderly loved one qualify for Medi-Cal if long-term care because necessary.

Why Do You Need Medi-Cal for Long-Term Care?

The cost of long-term care can be more expensive than most families can afford on their own. The estimated cost of a private room in a nursing home is $8,517 per month. A semi-private room can cost an average of $7,513 per month. Families who want to keep their loved ones at home, but need assistance providing health care and personal care, can expect to pay over $4,000 per month for a home health aide.

Therefore, many families count on the benefits through Medi-Cal to help pay for long-term care costs. Through Medi-Cal, elderly individuals can receive the care they need even though their families may not be able to afford the cost of a nursing home or long-term care facility.

Qualifying for Medi-Cal Benefits for Nursing Home Care

Medi-Cal benefits are based on financial need. You cannot receive Medi-Cal benefits for long-term care unless you meet the financial requirements for the problem. Individuals applying for Medi-Cal must have limited income and property. Medi-Cal has several different programs that could help an elderly individual with the cost of health care and personal care. Each program’s requirements can be slightly different.

Unfortunately, individuals cannot merely give away their property to loved ones to qualify for Medi-Cal. There is a 30-month lookback period for financial transactions from the date of the Medi-Cal application. If an individual transfers assets or makes a gift, there could be a penalty period in which the person cannot obtain Medi-Cal benefits.

How Can a California Elder Law Attorney Help?

There are exceptions to the gift rules, and there are ways to reduce assets that will not result in a period of ineligibility for Medi-Cal benefits. In some cases, a period of ineligibility cannot be avoided. In those cases, an attorney can help a family develop a plan to reduce assets that results in the shortest period of ineligibility possible.

Medi-Cal planning can be very complicated. The rules for various Medi-Cal programs can be challenging to unravel without a comprehensive understanding of Medi-Cal rules and laws.

Through eldercare planning, a California elder law attorney can help individuals and families develop a plan to protect assets while qualifying for Medi-Cal benefits. By transferring assets legally and correctly, you can ensure that your elderly loved ones have access to the health care and personal care they need.

However, developing a plan to qualify for Medi-Cal is only one-have of the battle. Families also need a plan to avoid Medi-Cal recovery after a loved one passes away. There are strategies for minimizing Medi-Cal recovery liens and actions. The time to begin is right now. Waiting until your loved one needs benefits can limit your options for protecting assets. Early planning is the key to asset protection. Contact us today.


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