The Long Term Care Planning/Medi-Cal Planning

Due to longer life expectancy more and more Americans will require the need of long- term care. Sadly, however, many seniors and their families are simply not financially prepared to confront the enormous costs of long-term care.

Long-Term Care Options

While some seniors may be able to initially afford private care, the cost of long-term care will wipe out savings of all but the wealthiest families in a matter of years.  Those who have planned ahead by purchasing long-term care insurance have a degree of certainty and peace of mind, knowing that they have a lesser need to rely on other sources in the future.  Unfortunately, many can’t afford the high cost of long term care insurance or worse, because of age of medical condition cannot qualify for long term care insurance altogether.  If you do have long-term care insurance, you should be aware of what your policy does or does not cover.  Many policies have high deductibles or provide for only a short period of care in facility.  In fact, many who have long-term care insurance will still have to resort to Medicaid to pay for their care.

Without Long Term Care Insurance, many end up paying for nursing home care until their personal (or family) assets are depleted. Once their assets reach a certain threshold they may then qualify for Medi-Cal benefits to pick up the cost.  To qualify for Medi-Cal, an applicant must have minimal cash or cash equivalents at the end of each month. Under current California Medi-Cal Regulations, the family residence is considered an “exempt asset” for purposes of qualifying an owner for state long term care assistance. Home ownership does not preclude an owner from qualifying for Medi-Cal if he or she would otherwise qualify. However, when the homeowner dies following receipt of Medi-Cal benefits, the property remaining in the homeowner’s name becomes a resource for Medi-Cal recovery claims and liens. Careful planning, however, can ensure that you get the benefits to which you are entitled, while protecting your assets, for your spouse or children, ensuring that the cost of your long-term care does not consume the wealth and legacy you created for your loved ones.