Mountain View Medi-Cal Planning
What is Medi-Cal?
Medi-Cal and Medicaid are basically the same, except Medi-Cal is a health care system made specifically for Californians. The rules of Medicaid vary across states. Medi-Cal is the same in all counties of California. It is meant to serve Residents who are low-income families, elders, children, pregnant women, and persons with disabilities. Medi-Cal is free or low cost depending on how much you make, and is administered through managed health care plans. As long as you meet the requirements for qualification, anyone can get Medi-Cal regardless of race, orientation, religion, and so on. Most people who receive the coverage don’t have to pay premiums, deductibles, or out of pocket costs. Of course, there is a bunch of red tape, but Medi-Cal can pay for long term care services indefinitely. It is best to be aware that the guidelines can change frequently or without notice to you.
There are a whole bunch of providers that work with Medi-Cal in all sorts of specialties. It is easy to find a provider near you who works with one of Medi-Cal’s many different health care plans. Kaiser, Anthem Blue Shield, Molina, and more are all on board with Medi-Cal. People who receive Medi-Cal are not always completely impoverished-you don’t have to be in order to qualify. Medi-Cal is federally funded through federal and state taxes. Most states require that residents use Medicaid only as a last resort. This is not true for California. The Madi-Cal system was developed to allow recipients to keep their incomes and assets as well as “safe harbor” allowances. Still, the rules and restrictions involving assets and incomes can be pretty difficult to understand and navigate. That’s why it is important for those who plan to apply for Medi-Cal to consult with an experienced elder law attorney. Doing this will help you to plan everything out to the fullest extent with the knowledge and understanding such an attorney will provide to you.
What are assets and income limits with Medi-Cal?
Your assets are either “countable” or “exempt”. The countable ones are the assets that have value toward the program. The exempt assets are not counted against you. The list of exempt assets is short and includes your home. One car, your furnishings, and personal property. The limits for incomes and assets are strict, though the Affordable Care Act did simplify these limits. It also resulted in record low numbers of residents who don’t have insurance at all. California looks back over thirty months of your history to make sure that you haven’t transferred anything to someone else. With Medi-Cal, cost recovery does not occur until you die. It will then be taken from your estate. However, if you are institutionalized before that, then Medi-Cal will try to recover the costs of care.
The good news is that the rules for income are pretty straight forward for Mountain View residents and the spouses of residents. The allowable income limit for Medi-Cal is calculated through a percentage of the federal poverty level guidelines. You will lose Medi-Cal benefits if you go over the limit. If you reach this point, you can always apply to a different care plan offered through Covered California, a separate program entirely. When your household member is in an institution and your income goes over the limit, the extras will go toward the institution to cover the cost of care. Also, the spouse of the loved one may not have enough income to survive on after the transition to a nursing home happens. If this is the case, they will often receive a monthly maintenance allowance to help them out.
Planning for Medi-Cal Long-Term
Planning early for you or your parent’s long term care is the best option. It will give you more time to consider your options and will also make the application process easier. You’ll have more flexibility in finding the right setting for you or your loved one’s long term care and. Dangerous situations could arise for the ones you care about if you choose the wrong home for them. California has long been criticized for having low quality of care for patients in nursing homes. You will also be able to avoid problems down the road such as maxed out income and assets issues.
Early planning can help you manage your assets and incomes properly today, so that you don’t have to scramble to figure it out later. When applying for Medi-Cal, you may be penalized and have to go through a period of non-eligibility if you have mishandled these things. Hiring an experienced elder law attorney will allow you to identify and understand your options as well as help you avoid the pit-traps that lie in wait to befall you.
Hiring a Medi-Cal Planning Attorney in Mountain View
The process of planning for the future and applying for Medi-Cal is nothing if not complex. There are many mistakes you could make if you are not aware of what could possibly go wrong. This will not end well for you. You could put off planning, or do it all yourself, but you would be missing out on the knowledge and security that hiring an elder law attorney in Mountain View can bring. An attorney can help you make sure you qualify when the time is right, and turn rules and regulations into advantages for you.
Hiring a professional will put your mind at ease by helping you to figure out and work easily with and around your options. This will ultimately lead to finding the best quality of care for you or your parents or spouse. In Mountain View, it is almost never too late to apply and qualify for Medi-Cal. Early planning may not always be an option; but an elder law attorney can help you to figure out what your options are and choose the best one for you. If you want the transition to go smoothly without causing a major disruption in your life, then you should hire an experienced professional to help you out.