Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program that helps elders and low-income families with their healthcare needs. Many people avoid applying for Medi-Cal, believing they have too many assets to qualify for benefits.
While it is true that your assets and possessions could bar you from Medi-Cal long-term care benefits, much of your property may be exempt. Before you assume you or an elderly family member will not qualify for benefits, learn what property is exempt from the eligibility process.
Here are examples of possibly exempt property
First, your home is not typically counted as an expendable asset when seeking long-term care Medi-Cal. If it is your primary residence and you live there at the time of your application, it is generally not counted against your eligibility.
More possible exemptions:
- One vehicle used for transportation
- Term life insurance policies
- Prepaid irrevocable burial plans
- Personal effects and household goods
- Burial plots, headstones, etc.
- Jewelry such as wedding rings and heirlooms
These assets are not counted when determining eligibility for long-term care through Medi-Cal. If you have additional real estate and high-value assets, a solid estate plan can still help you qualify for benefits.
Estate planning tips
Transfer as many assets as possible to ensure you are eligible for the long-term care program. For example, making cash gifts to your spouse or children can help you spend down your assets and qualify for Medi-Cal assistance. Another way to improve your eligibility is to create trusts that hold your assets under strict rules.
You may benefit from legal guidance when planning for Medi-Cal long-term care. It can ensure you make no mistakes when seeking benefits and improve your eligibility overall.