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Who Qualifies for California Medicaid?

Medi-Cal Planning Attorney in Long Beach CA: Medicade Qualifications
Medi-Cal Planning Attorney in Long Beach CA: Medicade Qualifications

California Medicaid, Medi-Cal for short, is California’s public health insurance program for low-income individuals, including the elderly. It’s funded by the federal and state government to ensure qualifying children and adults have access to the health care services they need. A Medi-Cal Planning Attorney can help you to figure out if you qualify.


How do you know if you qualify? Here are some of the rules regarding qualifying for Medi-Cal.


People Who Qualify

Income is one of the qualifications for California Medicare. Medi-Cal also is available to people who are 65 or older, disabled or blind, in an intermediate or skilled care nursing home or have breast or cervical cancer.


Income Must Be Lower Than the Program’s Maximum Income Levels

Depending on which Medi-Cal program the applicant is applying for, there may be income restrictions. For Income-Based Medi-Cal, the general rule income must be no higher than 138% of the Federal Poverty Level. Older adults may be looking at different programs, such as the Aged & Disabled


Federal Poverty Level Medi-Cal program.

Those who haven’t reached retirement age but are disabled may qualify for Medi-Cal’s California Working Disabled program, you have to have a qualifying income. It cannot exceed 250% of the poverty level, which is $2,853 for a single person or $3,835 for a couple.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) limits monthly income to $1.040.21 for individuals or $1,765.64 for couples. If the applicant is blind, income levels are higher than what’s listed here.

For the Aged & Disabled Federal Poverty Level Program, the income limits are $1,584 for a single person or $2,126 for a couple. If the applicant makes more than that, Medi-Cal with a Share of Cost might be a better plan for older adults.

People in nursing homes or who need nursing home care now or in the near future have different rules to follow. If it’s expected that someone will go into nursing home care soon or is already in a nursing home, the Department of Social Services has different rules for long-term care. It’s important to talk to an expert to learn more about Medi-Cal Long-Term Care programs.


Your Property Cannot Exceed the Current Limits

For now, a single person cannot have more than $2,000 in assets, not counting the principal residence, car, wedding/engagement ring, household items, and certain pension plans. A married couple cannot have more than $3,000.

There are many exceptions to this rule, however, so it helps to work with a Medi-Cal attorney. The rules change regularly, and that makes them hard to navigate. On July 1st, the asset limits are changing to $130,000 for a single person and $195,000 for a couple.

If you’re struggling with your application because you just don’t understand what counts as an asset and what is exempt, talk to a Medi-Cal attorney for guidance. It’s better to have the current information than find out you overlooked a rule and have been denied. Call to schedule a consultation.


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



James Dolenga, JD

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