Los Gatos Medi-Cal Planning
As California’s Medicaid program, Medi-Cal provides long term care benefits to eligible people in need of assistance in Los Gatos. While the application process can be rather extensive, the benefits offered by Medi-Cal are extremely valuable in helping people to afford the often-high costs of nursing and long-term care. The program can cover things like surgery, emergency services, medications, doctor’s visits, screenings, hospital visits, and more.
Whether a person is able to get the full scope of Medi-Cal benefits is determined by multiple factors. Assets and income limitations both can limit the eligibility of a person, and the program can look into someone’s past accounts to see their history. Each aspect of this review is weighted differently and can get confusing for people to wade through. This is why it’s always recommended to have an experienced Medi-Cal lawyer to help you fill out your application.
Requirements for Medi-Cal?
In its simplest form, the Medi-Cal program requires that someone proves they needs assistance financially to pay for their in-home nursing or long-term care. This is broken down by analyzing the assets and incomes that a person has in order to determine the level of assistance they might need (if any). While income limits apply to both the individual along with their spouse, in some instances the amount of “countable” and “exempt” assets might be skewed in order to push a person over the threshold of need so that they can be helped by the program.
If the costs of care are covered with a surplus left over, that money does not go back to the individual – instead, it will apply to the overall cost of the long-term care facility chosen. When a spouse is involved, instead of forfeiting over their income as well, they are able to keep what they earn. If the spouse is unable to cover their own bills without the income of their partner, they might be able to qualify for a program called Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance, which would help assist them as well. While each case will be different (no assets, income, or living situation will be the same across the board), an attorney will be able to explain the requirements for Medi-Cal in detail for the specific situation you are in.
Planning for Medi-Cal
Because the program looks so far into the financial history of someone, it is important for people to start planning early on. With proper preparation, there’s a much better chance of someone getting approved for the program than those starting only a couple months before needing assistance. The great part about Medi-Cal is that, while it is not ideal, is it possible for an individual to get approved for the program after they have already been moved to a long-term care facility. For most people, understanding everything that goes into the application can get overwhelming very quickly. An attorney, on the other hand, has the capability of explaining every detail of the application process. From there, a Medi-Cal planner can help someone plan ahead for any asset changes and income limitations.
Some unfortunate people to not know that they might be eligible for Medi-Cal until they have already started dipping into savings to cover the long-term healthcare costs they are accruing. These are often people that have spent their careers saving up for a comfortable retirement, only to have it wiped away in a few months with unexpected health issues. When being granted Medi-Cal assistance, this situation can often be avoided. Because the program can pay some of the costs all the way up to the full amount, people from all walks of life should try to be admitted to it with the help of an attorney. A Medi-Cal planning attorney can break down the requirements as well as assist you in planning for your long-term care early on. Those with spouses have another level of decisions to make, and often find that experienced attorneys help them think of things they never would have on their own. When planning for a time of life that is often hard to predict, using an attorney is the best way to go.
How to Find a Los Gatos Medi-Cal Attorney?
Finding a Los Gatos Medi-Cal attorney is the first step in figuring out a long-term life plan. Elder law attorneys are often the most experienced types of attorneys in being able to prepare their clients for what to expect with Medi-Cal as well as their overall healthcare plan. During the planning process, we encourage our clients to include their family in the decisions they make. This way, if something were to happen unexpectedly, the family is already well aware of the steps to take and the wishes of their family member. With fewer surprises to watch out for, the family will have less to worry about in the event that something happens.
No matter what age or stage of life you are in, we encourage you to get in contact with an experienced Los Gatos Medi-Cal attorney to ensure you are on the right path for your long-term care needs. The earlier one starts planning, the easier the application process for Medi-Cal (and the transition to different types of health care) will be! Even if you believe that you will not qualify for Medi-Cal, an attorney will be able to tell you if there is a chance (remember, Medi-Cal is dealt out on a needs basis which means that even if you do not qualify for the program to pay for all of your bills, they might pay for some). Instead of watching your years of savings waste away in a short time span due to nursing home or in-home health care costs, utilize Medi-Cal with an attorney today! When you believe it is time to start planning in the long term or for Medi-Cal assistance due to high health care expenses, get in touch with our staff for a free consultation with you and your spouse or family now.