As you age and lose your independence, you are likely to find yourself in a nursing home facility. But nursing home care is never cheap. The good news, however, is that there are steps you can take to avoid depleting your estate while paying for the care you need in old age. One such step is Medi-Cal planning.
Medi-Cal planning is California’s version of the Medicare program. Medi-Cal can provide much-needed relief when the last thing you want to worry about is the cost of care in your sunset years. Unfortunately, too many Californians are unaware of the Medi-Cal provisions or make costly mistakes that prevent them from accessing these crucial benefits.
Here are two mistakes you want to steer clear of during Medi-Cal planning:
Waiting too long to begin planning
Let’s face it, when you are young and vibrant, planning for long-term care is certainly the last thing you want to think about. But life is full of uncertainties. If you end up needing long-term care, having no plan in place can be a costly mistake. Keep in mind that to be eligible for Medi-Cal, there is a cap on the assets you can own.
Believing you are out of time
Even after moving into a nursing facility, you may still be eligible for Medi-Cal benefits. Keep in mind that you can use tools like trusts and annuities to reduce the amount of your countable assets so you can qualify for Medi-Cal benefits. Just be sure to set up and transfer any asset you want to hold in a trust for at least 30 months before applying for Medi-Cal.
Medi-Cal benefits can be a welcome relief when you or someone you love is in need of long-term care. Learning more about the Medi-Cal planning process can help you avoid costly benefits that can prevent you from receiving the benefits you deserve.