The Medi-Cal program is widely utilized by seniors who need assistance paying for long-term care, because Medicare does not pay for living assistance. The average annual cost for a room in a nursing home is around $100,000, so Medi-Cal eligibility can allow seniors to leave their hard-earned resources behind to their loved ones.
You do not qualify for Medi-Cal automatically if you are a senior who is in need of long-term care. The program is only for people who have financial need. As a result, there is an asset limit of $2000. The asset limit is the bad news, but the good news is that everything that you own is not considered to be countable.
Your home is not considered to be a countable asset when Medi-Cal is determining your eligibility status. In other states, Medi-Cal is called Medicaid, and there is typically an equity limit. In California, there is no home equity limit at all when you are applying for Medi-Cal to pay for long-term care.
However, you do have to be concerned about Medi-Cal recovery efforts. If you maintain possession of your home in your own name when you qualify for Medi-Cal, and you pass away while you are still in possession of the home, it could be attached when Medi-Cal is seeking recovery.
This would not be the case under all circumstances. If you have a surviving spouse who is remaining in the home, Medi-Cal would not go after the property. Plus, if you had a child living in the home who was providing the care that was keeping you out of a nursing home for at least two years before you apply for Medi-Cal, you could give the child the home.
There is a 30 month look-back that prohibits people from giving gifts within a 30 month period before they apply for Medi-Cal. However, under the two-year child caregiver scenario, giving the home to the child would not violate the look-back. Plus, Medi-Cal would not place a lien on the home. Your child would own the home after you pass away, plain and simple.
Medi-Cal Planning Report
We have prepared a free special report that you should certainly download if you want to be prepared for future long-term care costs. Our Medi-Cal planning report has been carefully prepared to explain the program in a simple, down-to-earth fashion.
To obtain your copy of the report, visit this page and follow the simple instructions: Los Angeles Medi-Cal Planning.
To Schedule a Free Consultation
If you are interested in the possibility of working with our firm after learning these facts, please select our “Workshops” tab to RSVP for a free estate planning workshop. At that workshop you will be offered a free one-hour consultation with an attorney: www.collinslawgroup.com/seminars/