Soquel Medi-Cal Planning
Medi-Cal is a healthcare system unique to California. It is the same as Medicaid in other states, except for the name. Only California has Medi-Cal and it is made for the citizens of California exclusively. The program offers recipients help with the costs of long-term health care, including nursing home residency and in-home care. It’s no suprise that the costs associated with these types of care can be astronomical and extremely difficult for people to pay out-of-pocket. Paying these costs on your own can deplete anyone’s savings quickly, and this applies to seniors as well. Luckily, Medi-Cal can offer full coverage for these costs. However, it can be difficult to navigate the system of Medi-Cal from applying to approval and everything else that goes into it. This is why it is wise to hire an experienced attorney in Medi-Cal planning, such as the ones employed by Ward Law.
Medi-Cal is open to all kinds of people, not only those with small incomes and assets or the very poor. You do not have to be in these categories to receive Medi-Cal. The system does have some hard to understand guidelines and limitations associated with income and assets, but at the end of the day, the fact that if you are receiving Medi-Cal, you do not have to dip into your savings makes the application process worth it. Medi-Cal offers the most amount of assistance for covering the costs you may incur by receiving in-home or nursing home care. There is no other program available to Californians that can match it.
Looking at Medi-Cal regulations for the first time can be very overwhelming, which is one of the reasons to call on Medi-Cal planning attorney before you begin the process. An attorney can prepare you for protecting your assets, going through the application process, and using the system correctly. The early planning for Medi-Cal and everything that goes with it will help reduce the anxiety of the process, feel more comfortable with your finances, and give you confidence to handle any surprises that may pop up along the way.
In order to qualify for and receive Medi-Cal, you are required to go through an in-depth analysis of your assets and incomes to determine your need. The process is extensive, just like many other government-administered programs, and can even go into the details of your spouse’s incomes and assets. Once the income limitations are met, Medi-Cal requires that any surplus be given to the long term care facility to pay off some of the total amount due instead of being spent on anything else. Under Medi-Cal guidelines, the espouse of the individual in question may keep whatever they make per month for themselves to use as they wish. If the spouse does not make enough in one month to take care of monthly expenses for themselves, they could qualify for another program called MMMNA, or Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance. Also, people who are currently paying the costs of long term care are not out of luck, either. They still may qualify for Medi-Cal.
Hiring a Medi-Cal planning attorney is crucial if you want to apply for Medi-Cal. The guidelines for the program can change every year and be difficult to follow. There are two categories that your assets may fall under; “exempt” or “countable”. “Exempt” assets are those that are not counted at all when applying for Medi-Cal. “Countable” assets are all others-those that hold value toward the program, and these can be extensively tracked. There are some cases in which a client’s income doesn’t meet the minimum threshold for the program. In these cases, Medi-Cal allows some normally countable assets to be exempt so they can qualify. There are ways to work with these guidelines, but using an attorney like those at the Law Office of James A. Ward is the best way to work through this situation with the best outcome.
How to Plan With Medi-Cal
The cost of long-term care is one of the biggest hits to a senior’s saving account. It is not difficult or rare for a person to blow through a whole lifetime of savings in a few short months by paying for unforeseen nursing home or in-home care. The sooner you plan for Medi-Cal qualification, the easier it will be to apply and qualify for Medi-Cal in the future.
A person cannot expect to get accepted into the Medi-Cal program without any preparation. In fact, Medi-Cal will perform an extensive analysis of all of your transactions and financial history for over two years back. It is crucial to prepare for this transition period by utilizing an experienced, professional Medi-Cal attorney. A attorney can also help prepare family members for things that might happen in the future. This could be counsel regarding emergency situations, incapacitation, and more. End of life planning is essential but almost never easy. Planning for the future can help your loved ones feel at peace with what will happen.
Picking a Medi-Cal Lawyer in Soquel
Picking a Medi-Cal lawer in Soquel should be a well-thought out process. You want to make sure that the attorney puts your wants and needs first, no matter what they entail. A good lawyer will listen to your concerns and explain everything you need to know about Medi-Cal, including how it works, where your assets will go, how your spouse will support themselves, and how much of your expenses Medi-Cal will cover. You should not worry about the changing guidelines because a good attorney will prepare you and your assets for these changes.
It is important to start planning as easily as possible to get the best results when applying for Medi-Cal. Most people can’t afford long term care without Medi-Cal. We encourage you not to wait until something happens before seeking help. A good Soquel Medi-Cal planning attorney will take the time to get your finances and assets straight before the time comes. When you are ready, give Ward Law a call to see if they can help you prepare for this next phase of your life.