Medi-Cal Planning. Is Now the Right Time?
“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin.
Medi-Cal is California’s program for administering federal Medicaid funds. Most people first hear about Medi-Cal coverage when a family member or loved one is hospitalized, then discharged to a rehabilitation or skilled nursing facility. Medicare may pay for this extended care for a while, but not for long. The maximum period Medicare will pay for qualifying individuals is 100 days, but most families will find themselves receiving a notice of termination of Medicare before that. For those who do not have long term care insurance, the choice then becomes to pay the cost of a skilled nursing home themselves, over $7,000 per month, or apply for Medi-Cal. Very few are able to afford to private pay for long without seriously impacting the financial security of the spouse and family.
Both married and unmarried individuals also worry as the estate they intended to pass to their children or heirs is rapidly eaten up by nursing home bills.
In order to receive Medi-Cal benefits, however, the applicant and spouse’s assets must be within the Medi-Cal guidelines. If assets exceed the Medi-Cal asset limit the excess resources must be “spent down” on nursing home costs, or, otherwise legally protected and transferred in order to meet the Medi-Cal qualifying limits. Please contact the office to give you and your family peace of mind, and save you thousands of dollars.
Who Should Consider An Irrevocable Trust?
An Irrevocable Trust established for Medi-Cal (or VA Benefits) eligibility should be established by persons facing the need for long term care who wish to protect their assets (including the family home). Anyone considering this plan must have a sense of emotional security, because he or she must be ready to relinquish direct control over his or her assets – the control being turned over to a loved and trusted family member, who acts as trustee of the Irrevocable Trust, and guards and distributes the assets in the Irrevocable Trust. Meanwhile, the person needing long term care is able to qualify for Medi-Cal benefits and preserve the estate he or she worked so hard to accumulate over their lifetime.