To qualify, an older adult must meet the income requirements, be blind, meet the age requirements, or have a qualifying disability. If your aging parent meets the requirements, what benefits does Medi-Cal offer? How can a Medi-Cal Planning Attorney help you? Take a closer look at this public insurance program.
What Does Medi-Cal Cover?
Medi-Cal is essential for low-income older adults as it can help pay for medical check-ups, hospital care, immunizations, mental health services, ER care, and prescription drugs.
Suppose your mom has Alzheimer’s disease. She has frequent visits with her memory care team to track the progression, her primary care physician for regular check-ups and prescription updates, and a mental health counselor for depression. In addition, she needs therapeutic services like occupational and speech therapy.
That’s expensive care, and your mom doesn’t work. With Medi-Cal benefits, her care needs are covered. If she progresses to a point that nursing home care is required, it’s expensive. Genworth reports that the average cost of nursing home care in California ranges from $9,794 per month for a shared room to $12,167 per month for a private room in 2021.
What Is Needed for the Application Process?
How does your mom apply for Medi-Cal? She can apply online on the BenefitsCal portal. She can also find the local social services offer and apply in person after scheduling an appointment. Before your mom starts the process, make sure she has all of the paperwork she needs for the application.
To apply for Medi-Cal, your mom needs a copy of her birth certificate and driver’s license. She’ll need copies of her paychecks, if applicable, her SSN or tax ID number, and her Medicare card. Your mom also needs to prove she resides in California. A current utility bill, mortgage/rent payment slip, or tax bill provides that proof.
She will need to provide a thorough list of her assets. This includes current bank statements, life insurance policies, stocks/bonds/CDs, etc. She’ll need to show the value of her home and list her vehicles.
Once she applies, it can take up to 45 days to process her application. If she has a disability, it can take up to 90 days. It comes down to how quickly required information, such as doctors’ responses, is submitted.