- Assets in a revocable living trust are not protected and must be used to pay for the costs of long term care.
- Giving your assets away means losing control. It’s not safe even if you trust whom you give your assets to. If that person divorces, goes bankrupt or is sued, all of the money you transferred is at risk. There are asset protection trusts that permit you to keep 100% control of your assets without the risk of losing them if long-term care is needed.
- You do not have to wait 36 months to qualify for Medi-Cal. Eligibility is calculated on a case-by-case basis. It is possible to have over $250,000 in cash and qualify immediately. Get professional advice and learn the facts. Go to www.Fonglawusa.com to see when you qualify.
- It is never too late to protect your assets even if you are already in a nursing home.
- A nursing home or hospital or a social worker that offers to file a Medi-Cal application for you has no obligation (and often can’t) advise you on how to protect your assets. Only a qualified Medi-Cal planning attorney will be looking out for your interests.
- Make sure the attorney you hire is experienced in Medi-Cal planning. Would you go to your regular doctor for a heart problem?
Don’t let fear stop you from planning. The earlier you start, the more you can protect and the more options you have. Contact the Fong Law Group today at (626) 587-2088.
Medicare & Medi-Cal Facts
Medicare is a health-care benefit provided by the federal government to individuals over age 65, or under age 65 and disabled. Medicare covers doctor visits, tests and care provided in a hospital and limited benefits in a nursing home (see below). Medi-Cal is health insurance for the poor. To qualify, you must not exceed certain income and asset limits. You must meet certain income and asset requirements. If your income or assets exceed the qualifying limits, you will not be eligible.
To qualify for Medicare, you must be over 65, and eligible for Social Security benefits. You may also qualify if you are under age 65 and disabled for two years. An application at the Social Security office will get your benefits started. To qualify for Medi-Cal, you must submit a multiple-page application and provide detail proof of all your financial transactions (banking, CD’s, stocks, bonds, income, expenses, annuities, etc.) for the previous 36 months.
Nursing Home Costs
Medicare will only pay for 20 days in a nursing home while Medi-Cal will pay the entire cost of a nursing home. The laws around Medi-Cal qualification are extensive, and there are many exceptions. Often, hospitals and nursing homes will offer to do this for you at no cost. Be careful, they do not represent you, but rather, the institution for which they work. Even with the best intentions, they often do not have the legal knowledge necessary to determine whether or not your qualification is accurate. This is where a legal professional can really be of value and often times, be able to get you benefits much sooner. Don’t try to go through the qualification alone, contact the Fong Law Group at (626) 587-2088 to help you sort through Medicaid and Medi-Cal issues.