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4 Things You Need to Know About California Medicaid

According to the CHCF, over one million older Californians struggled with at least one activity of daily living (ADL) in 2020. Around 600,000 couldn't complete at least two ADLs.
Medicaid Planning Attorney in San Bernardino CA: California Medicaid
Medicaid Planning Attorney in San Bernardino CA: California Medicaid

Long-term care services are needed when an older adult can no longer complete ADLs independently. What happens if there’s no money for the care your parent needs? California Medicaid, or Medi-Cal for short, is a vital service for older adults who have used up their savings paying for the elder care services they need. Whether 24-hour home care services are necessary for someone in the middle or late stages of Alzheimer’s or home care is required after a stroke, Medi-Cal, and a Medicaid Planning Attorney can help. There are four things families need to know, however.


Not Every Nursing Home or Home Care Agency Is Medi-Cal Approved

Your first choice for the paid caregiver or assisted living community may not be allowed. Approximately 80% of California nursing homes are Medi-Cal/Medicare-approved. Only 7.3% are specifically Medi-Cal approved. You may have to accept what caseworkers can arrange, especially if the long-term care arrangements are urgent.

Suppose your mom has Alzheimer’s and has become angry and violent. A nursing home with skilled nursing care may be required, and waitlists are often months or years long. Your mom will have to take the first available room, even if it’s farther away than you’d like.


There’s Always a Look Back Period

There’s a five-year look-back period in many states where Medicaid looks at your assets for the past five years. The agents are looking for gifts that were, perhaps, given out to qualify for Medicaid quickly. That’s not allowed.

California has a five-year look back on secondary real estate, such as vacation homes or undeveloped land, and 30 months for other assets like savings accounts.


There Are Limits to Meet

Each month, the Medi-Cal applicant cannot have more than $2,000 ($3,000 for a couple) in assets, excluding a car, personal home, clothing/personal items, and furnishings. If someone gets a gift that brings them over the $2,000/$3,000 rule, they have to spend down that money before Medi-Cal covers additional long-term care needs.

Jewelry that’s not engagement or wedding rings will not be counted as personal items if it’s worth more than $100. Musical instruments count as personal property. There are other exemptions, and it can be hard to keep track of them all.


Expert Help Such As A Medicaid Planning Attorney, Can Ease Stress

Navigating Medi-Cal on your own can be challenging. There are so many rules, and the five-year vs. 30-month lookback is confusing. Your parent’s health issues are already causing concern, avoid additional stress by working with a Medi-Cal attorney.

It helps to have an expert walk you through what happens next. The Medi-Cal attorney can help you fill out the application and understand everything from how long it takes to process an application to what happens with your parent’s care needs while you want. Get started today by making a call.


The Law Office of James Dolenga offers SSDI, SSI, Estate Planning, Medicaid Planning Attorney, in San Bernardino, CA. Call today for your legal consultation. (866) 772-5299



James Dolenga, JD

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