Hollister Medi-Cal Planning
About Hollister Medi-Cal Planning & Ward law
California’s version of Medicaid, Medi-Cal, is a program that helps people afford long term care costs in Hollister like those associated with nursing homes or in-home care. Because this type of care is often extremely expensive, the program was created to help alleviate that financial burden on seniors. Medi-Cal can actually pay for all of the associated nursing home costs for someone that qualifies for the program, taking the pressure off of someone’s personal savings account. Not everyone can qualify for Medi-Cal, though, and there are fairly strict requirements to do so.
Unlike other government programs, seniors do not have to be completely out of money in order to use Medi-Cal. On the other hand, Medi-Cal does require some pretty extensive documentation that their guidelines are being met on income and asset limitations. Because no other program offers to pay so much of the costs associated with long term care facilities, Medi-Cal is highly sought after by seniors in Hollister. With that being said, this can get quite confusing for most people trying to comprehend it all on their own. In order to ensure someone is able to make sense of the guidelines required, using a Medi-Cal attorney is highly recommended to act as a guide. An attorney will also be able to give advice on how to set up assets and income through a plan in order to qualify for Medi-Cal down the road (when it will be needed). This can help protect their assets and give peace of mind to an individual as well as their family members involved in the process.
What are the Regulations for Medi-Cal?
Once an individual needs some type of long term care, a breakdown of their assets and income being brought in is started by Medi-Cal to see if they qualify for the program. Just like with many other federal programs, there are limitations on how much someone can make in a month (and even how much their spouse makes) to qualify. For Medi-Cal, if the income limit is met, the extra amount of income will be applied to the total bill for the long-term care instead of going back to the individual. If the person has a spouse, however, they are allowed to keep what they make. A spouse that does not make enough of their own money to live off of (while their spouse needs Medi-Cal) could potentially qualify for MMMNA (Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance). Even for those that are already paying for nursing care on their own, it is possible to qualify for Medi-Cal as long as they are within their limitations.
Medi-Cal guidelines can vary from year to year, making it even more important to use an attorney that is up to date on any new changes in the applicable laws. Assets can be “exempt” or “countable” underneath the Medi-Cal program. Exempt assets are fairly easy to understand – they are not used when determining eligibility. On the other hand, countable assets must be tracked and be less than the limit, although there are ways to prepare assets in advance to ensure someone can still be seen as eligible for the program. If an individual’s income doesn’t reach a minimum for Medi-Cal, exempt items are broadened to cover some countable assets in order to qualify them.
Planning with Medi-Cal
Nursing homes and any type of long-term care can be extremely expensive, weighing down on the savings of Hollister seniors by quite a lot. This is why Medi-Cal was created. People who don’t think to use this program often pay out of pocket for their care expenses even though they could have prepared in advance. The earlier one plans for Medi-Cal, the greater the chances that they will be able to qualify (and protect their savings).
Did you know Medi-Cal looks at your financial history of up to 30 months? This is why it is crucial to have an experienced attorney on your side to give you advice on what you need to do to reduce your assets if necessary. Not only that, but an attorney can also prepare people for related things – like what might happen if only one person out of a couple needs to go into a nursing home (how to budget, what that means for the spouse’s income, etc.). Attorneys can also prepare people for full estate planning and what will happen to the rest of someone’s assets once they pass away. Altogether, planning for everything that happens in and around Medi-Cal can be overwhelming and especially confusing. With the proper guidance, though, this does not need to be a scary process.
Choosing a Medi-Cal Attorney
In Hollister, it is important to find a Medi-Cal attorney with the proper experience and knowledge for your situation. Understanding what you need and your wishes are something a professional elder law attorney will be able to focus on and highlight in order to create an overall plan you are happy with. Medi-Cal attorneys are especially adept at explaining how to follow along the guidelines and rules that are required to start and continue to qualify for the program (and many times, it does not require getting rid of any of your assets to do so).
Start your Medi-Cal and estate planning today with an attorney you can trust – because the sooner you get started preparing, the better! Very few can afford to pay the expensive costs of staying in nursing homes on their own without assistance. Do not be one of the many that end up draining their life savings on only a few months of care when Medi-Cal is a program set up to save you from this situation. We understand the need to protect your family’s assets from having to be sold off to qualify for Medi-Cal, and we will do everything in our power to help get you the solution you need. When you are ready to start planning for Medi-Cal, give us a call for a consultation on your unique case.