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How Does a Medi-Cal Planning Attorney Help California Seniors Preserve Their Assets?

Medi-Cal Planning Attorney in Moreno Valley CA
Medi-Cal Planning Attorney in Moreno Valley CA

Did you know that one year in a private room in a California nursing home costs almost $150,000? When your parent needs long-term nursing care, the cost can be alarming. Many senior citizens sell their homes and end up bankrupt as they don’t see another way. When a parent needs long-term care, it’s hard terrain to navigate. California Medicare (Medi-Cal) has strict rules to follow and the application process can be confusing. It’s time to talk to a Medi-Cal Planning Attorney about the rules, steps to take, and ways to protect your parent’s assets.


Create a Comprehensive List

Go through your dad’s home and create a comprehensive list of his assets. Think of everything he owns. If he has more than one car, note them all. Write down his jewelry, antiques, paintings/art, vacation homes, cabins, or cottages, stocks/bonds/IRAs, bank accounts, cryptocurrency, etc.

While some assets are already protected from Medi-Cal, such as one car and your dad’s home, others are considered assets that he could be required to sell before he applies for Medi-Cal. It depends on your dad’s situation and current laws.

Make sure you don’t miss anything. Go over the list multiple times if needed. You’ll need this when your dad applies for Medi-Cal. His Medi-Cal attorney needs a complete list to come up with the best ways to preserve his assets.


Timing Is Important

When your parent’s income is too high to qualify for Medicaid, he might think he’ll never qualify. That’s not always the case. There’s a process known as the spend-down period where he may qualify depending on a few things.

Medi-Cal planning has a 30-month look-back period. This means that Medi-Cal looks back at your dad’s spending for 30 months to make sure he hasn’t given away the money or sold assets for less than the market value in a hurry to qualify. Those actions can delay his approval.

When he works with an elder law attorney who specializes in Medi-Cal rules, he has an expert helping him preserve his assets. That heightens the chances that his application will be approved the first time.

There’s also a spend-down period to consider, but that’s soon changing. It used to be that applicants needed to have no more than $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple. Starting July 1st, the asset limit is moving to $130,000 for an individual or $195,000 for a couple. If your dad qualifies, this could be helpful to him. It’s hard for the layperson to understand all of the rules, however.

Navigating the world of long-term care and asset protection when it comes to Medi-Cal rules is challenging. Don’t try to go it alone. Hire a Medi-Cal attorney to help your family understand the rules, protect assets, and complete the application process. Call a Medi-Cal attorney to discuss your dad’s situation.


The Law Office of James Dolenga offers SSDI, SSI, Estate Planning, Elder Law & Medi-Cal Planning in Moreno Valley, CA. Call today for your legal consultation. (866) 772-5299



James Dolenga, JD

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