Helping Clients Qualify for Important Public Benefits in Ventura County
Medi-Cal benefits for senior citizens can help the most vulnerable members of our society afford important non-medical long-term care services. If you or a beloved senior in your life needs long-term care but doesn't have the income or assets to afford that care out of pocket, we can help you get qualified for Medi-Cal to help pay for that expensive in-home or skilled nursing facility care.
We at Kaiden Elder Law Group, PC can provide the assistance you need to manage your assets and qualify for Medi-Cal benefits. Our attorneys understand the complicated bureaucracy which stands between important long-term care public benefits and the senior citizens who need them most. If you want to learn more about how we may be able to help you or your loved one qualify for benefits to afford in-home care or skilled nursing facility care, don't hesitate to reach out to us today.
What Is Medi-Cal?
Medi-Cal is a program jointly run by the federal government and the state of California. The purpose of Medi-Cal is to provide financial assistance to low-income individuals who need help paying for medical, dental, and long term care services. With regard to senior citizens, non-medical long term care public benefits literally can make the difference between seniors becoming impoverished versus living the way they want to live and not in a way they are forced to live.
The average monthly cost of skilled nursing facility care in California now exceeds $10,000/month, and if acute care is needed the cost can easily exceed $30,000/month! That's why for most, qualifying for Medi-Cal benefits is not a luxury but instead a necessity.
Without a doubt, this area of law is confusing. You should know that Medi-Cal is not the same as Medicare. Medicare is a federal entitlement program that helps senior citizens and disabled persons pay for medical care. Medi-Cal for seniors is better thought of as a program that helps pay for (non-medical) assistance with daily living or long-term care, whether in a facility or in their own homes.
How Do I Qualify for Medi-Cal?
Unfortunately, there's a lot of confusion about what it takes to qualify for Medi-Cal which causes a lot of frustration. Qualifying for Medi-Cal might be easier than you've been led to believe, so consider speaking with a Medi-Cal planning lawyer in Oxnard about your specific circumstances and your qualification requirements.
We find that much of the confusion regarding Medi-Cal qualification comes from the $2,000 limit on non-exempt assets. This requirement has led many to erroneously assume that they have to give up their vehicle, primary home, and household goods (all of which are exempt) to qualify for Medi-Cal Coverage. The exceptions really eclipse the rules themselves so please do not make any assumptions about what's available to you. Instead, make sure you speak to an elder law attorney who is an expert in public benefits.
In other words, due to these exempt assets, one could have a high net worth and still qualify for Medi-Cal benefits.
Does Medi-Cal Have a ‘Look-Back' Period?
Yes, and this is another feature of the program that has generated unnecessary confusion. When someone applies for Medi-Cal, their bank account records going back a certain period of time are reviewed.
This is known as the “look-back period,” and its purpose is to uncover any uncompensated gifts that were made to decrease someone's countable assets to meet the level needed for Medi-Cal qualification (less than $2,000 for a single individual). If non-exempt asset transfers are found within the look-back period, a penalty period is assessed for the value of excess assets one possessed within the look-back period.
In other states, the look-back period is five years, but it's only 30 months or 2.5 years in California. This means that along with qualified exemptions that won't count against you, planning to qualify for Medi-Cal is simpler than most senior citizens believe.
Again, there are other exceptions that may apply, so the best course of action is to speak with a qualified professional who can help!
Call Kaiden Elder Law Group, PC Today!
If you need a Medi-Cal planning attorney near Oxnard who can help you or a senior in your life, consider reaching out to Kaiden Elder Law Group, PC. Our team offers many years of experience when it comes to dealing with sophisticated and complex elder law issues seniors face when they seek Medi-Cal as well as other public benefits.
Committed to Helping You With All Your Long-Term Care Needs
We understand that trying to obtain the right kind of Medi-Cal is confusing and overwhelming. The unfortunate fact is that the Federal rules as well as California eligibility requirements are constantly changing. For the uninformed and inexperienced, going it alone often leads to Medi-Cal disqualification, penalties, loss of control and impoverishment. But it doesn't have to be that way.
Our California Medi-Cal Planning Lawyers are prepared to help you and your family navigate the long term care maze. We do this by avoiding common mistakes and implementing the best possible planning strategies. Indeed, when you hire us, we review every aspect of your financial and legal circumstances, plot a course of action to successfully move forward, utilize asset protection strategies such as irrevocable asset protection trusts, apply for the right type of Medi-Cal for our clients as well as interface with the Department of Health Care Services on our client's behalf, and then advocate for them under the Nursing Home Reform Act to make sure caregivers are providing the best possible care.