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Thursday Nov. 8, 2018

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"How to get Medi-Cal coverage for your nursing home care... without selling your home or leaving your family without a dime... Surprising ways to pay for your assisted living and long term care costs."

Medi-Cal Planning & Qualification

Medi-Cal Resource Allowance for an Individual - $2,000

The current Resource Allowance for an individual for Medi-Cal qualification is $2,000. This limit has been in effect since 1989. The $2,000 limit however is for what Medi-Cal identifies as “non-exempt” property. Exempt property is not counted in determining eligibility. Only non-exempt property is counted. If the Medi-Cal applicant has more then $2,000 in non-exempt property, he or she will not be eligible unless the excess property is spent down, gifted or transferred to a spouse according to the Medi-Cal rules.

Examples of exempt property are as follows:

• The Home

• Personal Property and Household goods

• One car

• Term Life Insurance

• Whole Life Insurance with a face value of $1,500 or less

• IRAs and work related pensions in the applicant’s name, but the applicant must be receiving periodic payments of interest and principal

• Some work related annuities

This is a very brief outline. The Medi-Cal regulations are of course much more involved, and must be applied to the facts of each case.

For a simple example, Mrs. Pumblechook is suffering from early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. She had previously visited her elder law attorney in Walnut Creek, CA to amend her estate plan to provide powers and provisions for her children to take care of her with her assets and to transfer and protect her assets if necessary and to help her with Medi-Cal qualification. Mrs. Pumblechook owns a home in her own name in Walnut Creek, and has $2,000 in non-exempt assets. Mrs. Pumblechook would be eligible for Medi-Cal because she does not have more than the $2,000 resource allowance for an individual.

Her home is also exempt for Medi-Cal qualification. However, her home would be subject to a Medi-Cal lien if she passes away after receiving Medi-Cal benefits, and the home is in her name at the time of her death. Her home may be protected against a Medi-Cal lien by a transfer to the children, or to an irrevocable trust, with a reserved life estate and right of occupancy to the mother. Again, the rules are complicated and must be applied to the facts by an elder law attorney.


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