Medi-Cal, California’s version of the federal Medicare program, provides important benefits to people who need long-term care. However, the process is complicated and you may have questions regarding how the program works.
At the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo, our California Medi-Cal lawyer has the experience and knowledge to answer any questions you have, and can guide you through the application process from beginning to end.
When should I begin planning for Medi-Cal?
It is never to early to begin Medi-Cal planning. Early planning can provide you with options, such as creating estate planning documents with language making sure your appointed agent can carry out further Medi-Cal planning in the event you become incapacitated. You can also engage in planning at any time, even in emergency situations, although your options may be limited.
If I am already receiving Medi-Cal benefits, can I still benefit from Medi-Cal planning?
Yes. Proper planning has the potential to reduce or eliminate your “share of cost” co-payment and can protect your assets from estate claims by creditors or prevent a lien on your home by creditors.
Can I make a large gift to immediately qualify for Medi-Cal?
There are strict regulations regarding asset transfers. Improper transfers may result in a significant period of ineligibility during which an individual cannot receive Medi-Cal benefits. Transfers can also have negative tax consequences. Legal advice should be obtained before making any transfers.
Can I lose my home if I receive Medi-Cal?
Medi-Cal will attempt to recover assets that the beneficiary owns at the time of his or her death, including homes. You can prevent this outcome through effective planning.
If I have been a nursing home resident for the past six months, will I be reimbursed for past nursing home expenses?
Medi-Cal benefits can be obtained retroactively for the three months immediately preceding your application month as long as the Medi-Cal eligibility requirements were met for those three months.
What is the amount Medi-Cal can claim against my estate?
The lesser of the total amount of benefits a Medi-Cal beneficiary received during his or her life, or the value of the Medi-Cal beneficiary’s estate at the time of his or her passing. In effect, this can wipe out an entire estate. However, proper planning can help you avoid this outcome.
If you want more in-depth answers to your Medi-Cal questions or want to know how proper planning can benefit you, we can help. Contact our California Medi-Cal attorney online or call 818-676-9572 for a free initial consultation to discuss your case. We welcome AARP members.