California Estate Planning Blog by Kevin Staker

July 25, 2017

Medi-Cal and Long Term Care

Filed under: Kevin Staker,Medi-Cal Planning — Kevin Staker @ 10:38 am
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StakerLaw Tax and Estate Planning pic

StakerLaw Tax and Estate Planning
Image: staker.com

As the principal attorney and president of the StakerLaw Tax and Estate Planning Law Corporation, Kevin Staker helps clients allocate their assets to protect themselves and their families. Kevin Staker offers advice not only on estate planning but also on the funding of long-term care through Medi-Cal.

Unlike Medicare, which pays for only 100 days of skilled nursing for patients coming from acute care, Medi-Cal can fund care in the long term for eligible individuals. Medi-Cal is available to any California resident whose income does not exceed 138 percent of the federal poverty level and who has limited nonexempt assets. These assets must be below $2,000 for individuals or below $3,000 for couples.

Medi-Cal coverage may also be available for those whose income is above the specified maximum if the person in question has high health care costs. These individuals may be able to participate in Share of Cost Medi-Cal, which requires recipients to allocate a percentage of their monthly income to medical expenses. For long-term care residents, the recipients must pay their full monthly income minus a personal needs allowance.

Similar coverage may also be available to some people through the Assisted Living Waiver, which requires that individuals require a level of care that would necessitate nursing home care without the waiver. Recipients must live in a state-approved facility.

If persons would prefer to live at home and can safely do so, they may receive coverage of medically necessary services from Medi-Cal. Any nonmedical support may be covered through the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program, which is available to people who meet Medi-Cal income eligibility guidelines.

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July 5, 2016

Medi-Cal Recovery Limited by 2016 California Budget Act (by Kevin Staker)

Filed under: Kevin Staker,Medi-Cal Planning — Kevin Staker @ 3:58 pm
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CANHR, California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, reports that the 2016 California State Budget Act incorporates the limitations on recovery by the California Department of Health Care Services arising out of services from Medi-Cal.  Their post is found at http://canhr.org/newsroom/newdev_archive/2016/Governor-Brown-signed-SB833.html.

The changes include:

  • No recovery against the estate of a surviving spouse;
  • Recovery will only be what federal law requires, in other words,  only for nursing home facility and long term care services provided after age 55 or any age if the person was “permanently institutionalized”;
  • No claims for against homes of modest value;
  • The state can recover only against a probate estate, and so living trusts and joint tenancies will escape recovery;
  • The Act limits the interest on Medi-Cal liens;
  • Individuals who may be subject to recovery can request an itemized billing once a year for a $5 fee; and
  • These changes are effective for individuals who die on or after January 1, 2017.

The changes will dramatically decrease the effort needed to escape recovery for Medi-Cal expenses for long term care in a nursing home.

By Kevin Staker

April 27, 2016

Medi-Cal Announces Average Private Pay Rate for California Long Term Care Increased to $8,189 by Kevin Staker

Filed under: Kevin Staker,Medi-Cal Planning,Uncategorized — Kevin Staker @ 5:09 pm
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The California Department of Health Care Services has announced the “average private pay rate” (the “APPR”) for 2016 is $8,189. This is the amount used to calculate the period of time a person is ineligible from long term care assistance if he or she gives more than that amount away to another individual in a non-exempt gift.

The present rules provide if just under that amount, such as $8,188, is given away, they round down to zero and so no period of ineligibility is created.

By Kevin Staker

March 25, 2015

Medi-Cal Site on Google Sites by Kevin Staker

Filed under: Kevin Staker,Medi-Cal Planning — Kevin Staker @ 8:32 am
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Kevin Staker has a site on Google that explains the basics of Medi-Cal planning.  It is tragic how many times we see people who spend their money on long term care in a nursing home when  it is so easy to almost all people to qualify.  A significant part of the practice of Kevin Staker involves planning to qualify for Medi-Cal to pay for nursing home care.  The google site is a good introduction.

By Kevin Staker