Elder Law – Medi-Cal Planning for payment of nursing home cost


In California, Medi-Cal planning for payment of nursing home costs is quite a complex process that should take advantage of the assistance of a qualified elder law attorney. This short article provides an overview of how Medi-Cal benefits, you can get to pay for the sky rocketing cost of long term care in a skilled nursing facility.

The first step is to get a qualification. As a general rule, the well spouse is allowed to keep $ 104,400 (2008) in resources. This is called the Community Spouse Resource Allowance (CSRA) and includes money in the bank. If a couple has more than this amount of resources, then they will have to reduce the excess amount in a manner consistent with the rules of Medi-Cal is.

One method of spending down is to use the excess money to pay for improvements to the couple’s home. Their primary residence is considered exempt from property for Medi-Cal eligibility purposes (regardless of its value) and the Medi-Cal can not consider it to determine eligibility. Note: The federal Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) can change some of the rules for tax-exempt status in the home. All planning policy will include a thorough examination to determine whether California has implemented the applicable provisions of the DRA.

Even if the resources of the couple over the allowable amount, they can still be able to keep excess and qualified.

Here is an example:

The well-spouse (wife) is entitled to keep $ 2,610 (2008) per month in revenue. This is called the minimum monthly maintenance needs allowance (MMMNA). If the wife’s monthly income (social security, pension, etc.) is only $ 1,000, she is short $ 1,610 per month permitted MMMNA her.

If ill spouse (husband) has a monthly income of $ 500, then his income can be allocated to his wife to meet MMMNA her. Wife would now receive $ 1,500 monthly income, but would still be short $ 1,110 per month MMMNA her ($ 2,610 – $ 1,500 = $ 1,110). Again, the law allows a spouse well, at least, $ 2,610 in income per month.

Now, if it can be shown that the total resources of the spouses (hypothetically) invested bear interest account, would still not produce enough additional monthly income for a woman to meet MMMNA her, the request can making to the Administrative Judge or County Superior Court for an order that allows the couple to keep all of its assets, including the amount in excess CSRA.

Are there other ways to qualify a person to receive Medi-Cal benefits to pay for nursing home costs? Yes, some of the planning strategies will be discussed in later articles.

In the meantime, it is important to know that qualifying receive Medi-Cal benefits is only the first of several key issues that must be addressed in the process. Avoid attempt Medi-Cal to recover the money it has paid out on behalf of Medi-Cal beneficiaries (nursing home patient) is very important in any Medi-Cal planning policy.


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