The Medi-Cal program should be on your radar, even if you are going to qualify for Medicare when you reach the age of 65. This is because Medicare does not pay for living assistance, but Medi-Cal will help if you need long-term care at some point in time.
If you are thinking that it is unlikely that you will ever need care, you should understand the facts. The United States Department of Health and Human Services maintains a very useful website called LongTermCare.gov. According to the site, seven out of every 10 people who are reaching the age of 65 are going to need living assistance eventually.
Paying out-of-pocket is not a comfortable option for most people, because nursing home care is very expensive. In our area of California, it can easily cost you over $100,000 for a year for a private room in a nursing home.
Qualifying for Medi-Cal
You are probably aware of the fact that Medi-Cal is intended for people with significant financial need. As a result, there is a $2000 limit on countable assets, but some of the things that you own do not count.
Plus, if you are married and you are applying for Medi-Cal coverage to pay for long-term care, and your spouse is still living independently, your spouse is entitled to certain rights. One of them is the Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance.
When a single person is using Medi-Cal to pay for long-term care, most of his or her income would go toward the cost of the care that is being received. However, if there is a healthy spouse staying at home, this requirement can be waived.
The healthy spouse may be entitled to a Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance. This will allow the healthy spouse to continue to utilize income that is due to the institutionalized spouse.
During the 2015 calendar year, the Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance stands at $2,981 in the state of California.
While we are looking at the rights of the healthy spouse, we should also touch upon the Community Spouse Resource Allowance. The healthy spouse can keep half of the shared assets that are considered to be countable without impacting his or her spouse’s Medi-Cal eligibility status. However, there is a $119,220 limit in California in 2015.
Free Report on Medi-Cal Planning
We have primarily focused on the Medi-Cal Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance in this blog post. If you would like to obtain more comprehensive information about the program, download our special report.
This report will answer most of your questions, and it is being offered free of charge at the present time. Visit this page and follow the simple instructions to get your copy: Medi-Cal Planning Report.
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/
To learn more, please download our free what questions should i ask an Elder Law Attorney in California here.
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