The Medi-Cal program is somewhat misunderstood. Most people are aware of the fact that this is California’s version of the Medicaid program, which is a health insurance program for financially needy individuals.
This can lead to the belief that Medi-Cal would never be relevant to you if you have never been financially needy. In fact, the Medicaid program can indeed be quite relevant to you when you reach your senior years.
Why would Medi-Cal ever enter the picture if you will qualify for Medicare coverage as a person with resources? The answer is that Medi-Cal will pay for long-term care. Medicare will pay for convalescent care after an injury or illness, but it will not pay for living assistance.
You may not be too concerned, because you may be under the impression that you will probably never need long-term care. In fact, if you are able to handle all of your own day-to-day needs throughout the entirety of your life, you would be among the minority. According to a government agency, seven out of every 10 senior citizens will someday need help with their activities of daily living.
The Cost of Care
We are located in Inglewood, California. According to a survey that is being conducted by Genworth Financial, in the greater Los Angeles area, the median annual charge for a private room in a nursing home is a whopping $97,638. Things are probably going to get worse before they get better, because the survey predicts a four percent per year increase over the next five years.
The average length of stay is approximately two years and three months, and 10 percent of nursing home residents receive care for at least five years. When you combine all of these figures, you can see that long-term care costs can easily consume all or most of what you always wanted to leave to your loved ones.
Qualifying for Medi-Cal
It is possible to qualify for Medi-Cal coverage to pay for long-term care, even if you have never been poor. This can be accomplished through a process called a Medi-Cal spend down. You don’t necessarily have to spend your assets on yourself. To spend down, you could give gifts to your loved ones.
Since there is a 30 month look back in California, the gift giving must be completed at least 30 months before you apply for Medi-Cal if you want to obtain coverage right away.
Medi-Cal Planning Consultation
If this blog post has gotten your attention, our firm would be glad to help you understand the Medi-Cal planning process. We offer free consultations, and we can sit down with you, answer your questions, and help you position your assets wisely if you are ready to take action.
To set up an appointment, send us a message through this page: Inglewood CA Estate Planning Attorneys.
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/