California Medi-Cal Questions and Answers
Most people have a host of questions about the Medi-Cal planning process. Will my level of care decrease? Can I qualify? Is my house exempt? In today’s blog, we’ll go over four frequently asked questions about Medi-Cal.
Q: Will the quality of care I receive decrease after I qualify for Medi-Cal?
A: No, your care will remain the same. Long-term care facilities CANNOT discriminate against a person receiving Medi-Cal benefits and by law those patients must receive the same care as private pay patients.
Q: Should married couples “spend down” half of their assets before qualifying for Medi-Cal?
A: Not necessarily, as many couples have over $100,000 and still qualify for Medi-Cal benefits without a spend-down. Medi-Cal does have various income and asset requirements everyone must meet before qualifying, both federal and state laws were written to protect recipients from “going broke” if a spouse needs of long term care.
Q: Can a parent still make financial gifts to their children after entering a nursing home under the new Medi-Cal laws?
A: Yes, and gifting continues to be an excellent Medi-Cal planning tactic. However, it must be done with care, as the state conducts a 30-month financial statement “look back” once a person applies for Medi-Cal. Improper transfers can cause a period of eligibility during the look back, which will force an individual to pay for any long-term care cost out of their own pocket.
Q: Since the home is considered an “exempt” asset under Medi-Cal laws, can an applicant give it away without incurring any penalties?
A: Yes, if the process is conducted in the correct manner (and with an experienced Medi-Cal planning attorney). However, the income tax consequences of receiving your home as a “gift” instead of as an “inheritance” can make the transaction a difficult process for your heirs. But again, if done correctly, any and all negative income tax consequences can be avoided.
Remember, if you have further questions, we are here to help. Our team of expert attorneys boasts a 99.99% Medi-Cal approval rate and we can help you. Contact us at (800) 403-6078 for a FREE phone consultation today! We look forward to hearing from you!
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