Answer: Medi-Cal Planning involves the design of a legal plan to reallocate your assets in such a way that Medi-Cal will not take them into consideration when determining your eligibility for coverage. If you need nursing home care, or if you believe that you or your spouse may be in need of such services in the future, you will need to qualify for Medi-Cal. Even families with assets in the million can qualify, and have Medi-Cal pay for the cost of care, rather than depleting your own resources to cover these costs.
Answer: Medicare is health insurance for people over sixty-five. It pays for hospital stays, doctor visits, and medical tests. Unfortunately, it only covers limited skilled nursing care. Medicaid, or Medi-Cal as it is referred to in California, is health insurance for limited income individuals who meet certain economic criteria for eligibility – it does cover the cost of nursing care.
Answer: Medi-Cal eligibility is based on the amount of your monthly income and your assets. If both are within the rather low limits set by Medicaid, then you would qualify for coverage. Here at Asset Protection & Elder Law Center, our entire focus is to reallocate your assets in a legal manner which will lead them to be excluded from your Medicaid qualification determination. Do not be overtly concerned if you think you have too much income or assets, let us determine that on your behalf.
Q 4: Is it true that if my spouse is in a nursing home, I have to give away all or most of my assets as the only means to qualify for Medi-Cal cost of care?
Answer: This is one of the great misconception about Medi-Cal planning. Our main focus is to educate the baby boomers at large, and demonstrate how you can reallocate your assets in such a way where you can retain use and enjoyment of your assets. Our trusts will enable you to maintain full control and access to your asset income while ensuring that those assets are not counted towards your eligibility for Medicaid.
Answer: Simply put, most families cannot support the enormous cost of nursing home care. Even with the middle-le-class to affluent members of our society, the average cost of a nursing home runs anywhere from $5,000-$7,000 a month, depending on individual needs, cost of nursing home care, and county you live in. You can see how fast assets can deplete with medical cost of that magnitude. We help ensure that you keep the your assets to its intended beneficiaries – your family!
Q 6: Why do I need help obtaining Medi-Cal coverage? Isn’t it just a matter of submitting the application?
Answer: Many individuals make the mistake of applying for Medi-Cal on their own. The unintended effect for most people is that they end up with a penalty period, which prevents them from even qualifying for Medi-Cal for months, or sometimes years. Please understand that the Medi-Cal office’s job is not to assist you in the process, nor will they tell you how to protect your assets. people apply for coverage without any help. But beware – Medicaid will not tell you how to protect your assets. At Asset Protection & Elder Law Center, before we even meet, we request some background information and design a plan that fits your particular needs. In essence, we tailor a legal plan just for you! What more, we offer a broad range of legal tools in order to address the particularities of your family and finances.
Answer: We offer our services as per a specific fee schedule based on your particular needs. (Often times, once we become familiar with your personal and financial situation, we are able to protect your assets with less work than what was originally anticipated.) Unlike most firms, we do everything on a flat fee basis so that there are no surprises on your end. You do not have to commit to anything until and unless we demonstrate how we can save your family hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is how confident we are in our approach to Medi-Cal qualification. To give you a notion, the average fee will run approximately the same as the average cost of two months’ s stay in a skilled nursing home. The benefit is that we will have saved your entire life’s savings and income.
Answer: No, they cannot take your house, nor do they want to. This is another big misconception about Medi-Cal. Though some contribution will be required from the spouse’s beneficiaries (a cost determined by each state), the Federal Spousal Impoverishment Protection law excludes your family home from that calculation.
Answer: Eligibility is based upon your ability, or inability to pay for long-term care expenses. The general rule of thumb is that the applicants can be eligible for coverage if the couple’s “countable” assets (cash, investments, etc.) and income fall within state-designated limits. This calculation excludes the family home, car, certain limited life insurance coverage, and personal household possessions, such as clothing, furniture, etc.
Answer: It is a document that empowers someone else to make health care decisions on your behalf in the event that you have lost the capacity to make those decisions yourself, due to some disability. In many states, the decision of whether or not to administer care to someone who is incapacitated will automatically default to the physician, not the spouse…unless you have it in writing that you want someone else to have that power.