Most people work their entire lives, saving and preparing for retirement. They may not be wealthy, but they have accumulated a nest egg, hoping to provide security for themselves. One of their most heart-felt concerns is never to be a burden on anyone. Then the unthinkable happens . . . a stroke or some other disabling health problems.
Without help, when you add the extra costs associated with a skilled nursing facility (SNF)/long term care (LTC), it goes beyond the fixed income of most retirees. Nursing home costs in California average of $6,000-$7,000 dollars per month. As a result, income-producing assets needed for paying normal living expenses are depleted. Before long, neither income nor assets are left, leaving the remaining spouse, or recovering patient, destitute.
1. What is Medi-Cal?
Medi-Cal is a federal/state program that pays a share of nursing home costs for those who qualify. Although there is a limit on certain types of assets, that a person can own and still qualify, there is no prohibition with regard to repositioning assets, under many circumstances. Such transfers are not subject to the“look back”rules. It is this ability to reposition one’s assets at any time and still qualify for benefits that makes Medi-Cal planning a viable option for almost all seniors. It is the ability of the Elder Law Attorney to skillfully implement the necessary property transfers that makes qualifying for Medi-Cal Benefits a feasable option.
My attorney, CPA, financial planner, stockbroker, friend, etc. has said that Medi-Cal Planning is illegal. "A Medi-Cal applicant may reduce his or her non-exempt property to within the specified limits in any way he or she chooses within the calendar month for which Medi-Cal is being requested”. All County Welfare Directors Letters: 99-03, dtd 1/20/99. We at Elder Law Center, P.C. have obtained Medi-Cal Benefits for hundreds of satisfied clients.
All counties must, by law, apply the rules established by the State of California, and spelled out in the "Medi-Cal Eligibility Procedures Manual Letter No.: 179," dtd May 15, 1997 and in subsequent mailings called "All County Welfare Directors Letters." People that challenge the veracity of these Medi-Cal rulings have never been able to provide legal documentation that support their claim.
Approximately 96% of California nursing homes accept Medi-Cal. Nearly two-thirds of all California nursing home residents will eventually become dependant upon Medi-Cal or will be receiving some form of benefits from the State of California.
4. Will the State put a lien on my home?
Yes. But there are steps to take to avoid a possible estate claim that could include your home. That is one of the very important services that Elder Law Center, P.C. is able to provide.
8. I have been told I need to “spend down” to qualify for Medi-Cal.
11. My spouse or mother/father is in a nursing home now. Is it too late to qualify for state entitlements?
12. We have too much money in savings, cd’s, stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Can that be protected?
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It is hard enough dealing with one’s emotions because of long term health problems, but to compound it with financial worries makes the situation unbearable. Qualifying for Medi-Cal can help preserve one’s needed assets and income.
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