Saratoga Medi-Cal Planning
Being the Medicaid program of California, Medi-Cal offers eligible people assistance with long term health care expenses in Saratoga. Even though applying for Medi-Cal is quite a long process, having the program’s benefits can be a great help to those struggling to pay the high costs of end of life and long-term care. Medi-Cal is often used to cover a multitude of different aspects of health care like medications, screenings, visits, emergencies, or even surgery.
Medi-Cal doesn’t just pay the full amount of expenses for someone – rather, they have to prove that they need the full assistance instead of just partial. This is done through a few different ways: Income limitations and the number of assets. Because of the depth that Medi-Cal is able to look into through someone’s history, applications can be tough to get through without the help of a professional. Since every situation is different, it is always good to use a Saratoga elder law attorney for help.
What are the requirements?
Unfortunately, not everyone can qualify for the Medi-Cal program. Instead, people must prove that they financially need the help of the program in order to afford the extensive costs of nursing or in-home health care through a few ways. With income limitations, only people making less than a certain number a year are eligible for the program. Additionally, assets are taken into account as well and can be determined as “countable” or “exempt” from the overall count. In some instances, the number of assets can be flexible to account for certain income circumstances, but an attorney will be able to better ascertain what needs to happen in your situation.
When there is extra money left over from a Medi-Cal payout of long-term care expenses for someone, that money is applied to the overall cost of the care facility the person lives in (it will never go back to the individual). If the person has a spouse, on the other hand, they are not required to give their income for the cause and are able to retain the amount of income they bring in on their own. If that amount does not cover the typical monthly expenses they accrue, they might be eligible for MMMNA (Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance). Even though every case is different, a Medi-Cal attorney can say for sure what someone needs to do to give them the best chance of qualifying for the program (even well in advance).
Preparing for Medi-Cal
Since Medi-Cal requires that someone has their affairs in order well in advance of applying, starting as early as possible is crucial. When everything is in place and accounted for, the chances of qualifying for the program skyrocket compared to those that wait until the last minute to start thinking of what they need to do to apply. One of the best parts about Medi-Cal is that even though someone might not qualify for getting their entire costs paid for by the program, they still might qualify for a portion to be covered (anything is better than nothing!). When first looking at the application, however, most people get overwhelmed immediately. With an experienced attorney, this process can go by smoothly with the expertise they bring to the table. Not only will you feel more knowledgeable about the program overall, but you’ll feel much more prepared for the application when the time comes.
Many people will wait until they have already started to deplete their hard earned savings to pay off long term care expenses (some because they don’t believe they will qualify for Medi-Cal, and others because they don’t even know about the program in the first place!). Instead of waiting until your savings are gone because you weren’t properly prepared for the high costs of nursing homes or in-home care, getting started as soon as possible with a Medi-Cal attorney is the way to go. No matter what situation you are in, applying for the Medi-Cal program is typically a good decision. Even if you aren’t approved for the full costs to be paid, you can still get a portion of health care costs covered and that can save your retirement in the long run. With a Medi-Cal attorney, they can unearth everything you might need to think of for your application and advise you on how to handle your assets and income for application later on (or right then). Even if you have a spouse with a larger amount of income coming in, an attorney can help you determine what you need to do to increase your chances of getting approved for the program. Because this time of life can be tricky to plan for, utilizing the expert knowledge of an attorney is always the best course of action.
Finding a Saratoga Medi-Cal Attorney
When you are first looking into the Medi-Cal program, finding a Saratoga attorney is a great start. An elder law attorney will be able to prepare you on what an application process will look like for the program, along with what you might need to change about your assets or accounts for the best chance of qualifying. Because everyone’s life is different, having an attorney to be able to wade through the heavy wording and rules of Medi-Cal is extremely helpful when creating a unique plan to qualify for the program. Bringing in the spouse to work with throughout the process is something we tend to recommend as well so that everyone is on the same page.
Whether you are in the stage of life that you need Medi-Cal assistance or simply want to start taking steps to increase your chances of qualifying for the program in the future, finding a Saratoga Medi-Cal attorney will help ensure you are going down the right path. Remember, the sooner you start planning, the better! Rather than watching the entirety of your savings be spent on health care costs in a few months, let us help you take advantage of the program that was created specifically for people like you.