For those of you not living in or new to California, Medi-Cal is California’s name for what is known in the rest of the United States as Medicaid.
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Understanding and planning for Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid
Many people misunderstand Medi-Cal as a program strictly for the poor and underprivileged, but that’s really not the case. Medi-Cal is an entitlement program for long-term care — and your insurance premiums are paid through your California taxes.
Medi-Cal for Long Term Care is a benefit available to Californians.
Many people will need long-term medical and custodial care at some point in their life. For example, you may have to spend some time in a nursing home. It’s important to know that Medi-Cal will pick up the tab for you. But only if you make the proper arrangements ahead of time. Otherwise, you may end up footing the bill on your own. That’s not just a terrible thing to have to deal with when you’re sick, but is also something you may never recover from financially.
We have more than 40 years of experience guiding clients through Medi-Cal asset protection and planning matters in California. Often, decisions can be difficult. Our goal is to provide information about the programs and their benefits in an effort to help you make the right choice for your future and your family’s well-being.
Protecting your assets
As you deal with planning for your future in California — or as you’re dealing with helping your aging parents who live in California — you’re likely to hear the term sheltering or sheltering your assets. As an ethical person, you might worry that this is wrong, illegal or unethical. But, in fact, as you look into this and contact Estate Planning experts, you’ll find it is ethical, legal — and the right thing to do.
Our goal in sheltering your assets is similar to legally minimizing your taxes.
- We work to maximize your governmental benefits while protecting you from one of your biggest potential creditors — the government.
- We also work to protect you against bankruptcy, business losses and accidents.
- We work with the government in mind and pay special attention to property taxes, income taxes and estate taxes.
This all has to be done right, however, for you to avoid severe penalties and potential fines.
Other terms you will hear are spend down and qualification period. As with much of Medi-Cal qualification, this is rather intricate and is very different in California than it is for the rest of the states (which, remember, call it Medicaid). Rather than make your mind spin with unnecessary info, we will be happy to explain this to you as you meet with us if it is relevant to your situation. We love teaching our clients and want them to understand what we suggest and do, but have actually found that many start out wanting to know this but soon ask us to please just take care of it for them. As experienced California attorneys specializing in Medi-Cal planning, it is our job to be up on every nuance of Medi-Cal qualification and how to plan to your best advantage.
So now that we’ve addressed the negative associations, let’s talk about the realities.
If you own a home or if you have more than $2,000 in assets, you could lose everything — just by having to enter a hospital or nursing home. Yes, many people have come out of a hospital or nursing home only to find their home and their hard earned savings gone.
Without sufficient planning, you can lose all or part of the equity in your home. You can lose your assets.
Proper Medi-Cal planning can save your home from the nursing homes and hospitals — entities that can take equity out of your home if you ever enter long-term care and/or have medical bills that you cannot otherwise pay.
Yes, families — after their loved one has passed away — have had their homes and assets sold to pay for their medical needs and expenses, leaving nothing to the children or the families of these individuals.
We don’t want anyone to lose their family home to nursing home or medical bills!
Let us show you how to pay for nursing home care!
We are one of the few law firms in California that emphasizes Medi-Cal Planning and Recovery Avoidance for Long Term Care.
Did you know: It’s in a Nursing Home’s best interest to charge you personally, having you pay their highest rate? This is what makes them the most money. It’s not likely they’re going to tell you the other payment options. Why would they want you to be on Medi-Cal? They would then have to accept lesser amounts for the same care.
The time to prepare is now. You never know when sickness or tragedy may strike. Being caught unprepared can be tragic. We urge you to take the time to prepare for this future now.
We also provide free Medi-Cal Planning seminars to groups by arrangement or, from time to time, open to the public. You can learn about these free seminars on our Free Elder Law & Estate Planning Seminars page.