Why Do You Want Medi-Cal?
For the most part, most individuals and families want Medi-Cal to pay for long-term care or the preparation of the need of a skilled nursing facility (SNF) or rehabilitation. Medi-Cal is the only government program that will cover the cost of long-term care in a skilled facility. The process of Medi-Cal planning is to properly protect the financial integrity of the individual while getting them the benefits they currently need or might need in the future. They say that our of the millions of Americans that will be turning 65 in the next 20 years, 70% of those Americans will need long-term care at least once in their life. Elder Law Services of California, APLC is here so you don't have to deplete your life savings just to have their assets go below the poverty level, or the possibility of losing their principal home.
Protecting Your Home
Do you own a home? Are you 65 or older (or permanently disabled and 55 and older) and receiving Medi-Cal benefits? Then, this is information you need to be aware of regarding the Medi-Cal Recovery Program.
Medi-Cal is a federal and state program created to assist in paying for various medical services such as nursing home care, doctor visits, hospital, prescription, and other medically needed care. What many seniors don’t know is that after the age of 55 or at any age if services are rendered at a nursing home, the state can recover against an estate for any services provided. The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) keeps an accounting of services paid through the Medi-Cal program. Once the Medi-Cal recipient passes away, the state will seek payment for the cost of services received, including insurance premiums paid and payments made to managed care plans. State and Federal laws allow DHCS to seek repayment for these expenses. The executor or the heir of the estate must notify the Estate Recovery unit within 90 days of the person’s death.
Please DO NOT ignore the recovery process.
The state will send the heirs or survivors an “estate recovery claim” asking for payment for the amount of Medi-Cal benefits paid on behalf of the deceased individual. The Department of Health Care Services will request for a list of assets the decedent had upon death. The state can only make a claim for the amount of Medi-Cal benefits paid or the value of the asset, depending on which is less. Many seniors are not aware of the recovery rules and forget to protect their biggest asset, which is their home. Our office has seen numerous of cases where the client forgets to protect the home, and upon the death of the Medi-Cal recipient, the heirs try to transfer the home out of the estate but it is too late to protect. The best way to avoid Medi-Cal recovery is to seek legal assistance and find out how to protect all your assets according to Medi-Cal Regulations. Under current Medi-Cal rules, you are allowed to protect your assets before death and still maintain Medi-Cal eligibility. Do not leave your heirs in a legal mess. Please call our office to schedule a consultation with an Attorney to review your estate plan and make sure all your assets are protected from a Medi-Cal Recovery.