Our 2020 Estate Planning Department Team
Navigating California’s Medi-Cal program can be incredibly challenging. Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid health care program. The program provides medical services for California children and adults who have limited resources and income. Federal and state taxes fund California’s Medi-Cal program. As long as you meet the eligibility requirements of Medi-Cal, you can apply for benefits.
Medi-Cal planning is important because many people end up needing long-term medical insurance. Health care costs are rising exponentially, and taking the time to engage in Medi-Cal estate planning could help you ensure that you have health care coverage and access to assisted living.
OUR LAWYERS CAN HELP YOU WITH YOUR MEDI-CAL PLANNING
Medi-Cal planning is essential to protect your assets should you need Medi-Cal health insurance. In order to qualify for Medi-Cal, a person’s income and asset level must fall below a certain level. When qualifying for any Medi-Cal program, many individuals will need to “spend down” their assets to meet the income and asset requirements. Our lawyers can help clients create an irrevocable Medi-Cal trust. A Medi-Cal trust can help you secure your assets while allowing you to qualify for Medi-Cal benefits down the road. Contact our Sacramento Medi-Cal planning lawyers today to schedule your initial consultation.
THE PROCESS OF QUALIFYING FOR MEDI-CAL BENEFITS
Qualifying for Medi-Cal health insurance benefits is not easy. California’s Medi-Cal program is based on need. An unmarried California resident cannot own more than $2,000 in liquid assets in order to qualify for Medi-Cal. The main purpose of Medi-Cal planning is to help you become eligible for Medi-Cal benefits without exhausting all of your financial assets. Medi-Cal applicants who sell property or get rid of assets before applying for Medi-Cal can face reversal charges. At the Law Office of Daniel Hunt, we can help you qualify for Medi-Cal legally while avoiding the effects of “clawback” provisions or claims against the estate.
WHAT IS MEDI-CAL “ESTATE RECOVERY”?
When a recipient of Medi-Cal benefits who is age 55 or older dies, California can seek estate recovery. In estate recovery, California seeks recovery of payments from the deceased resident’s estate. California can recover money and assets from the Medi-Cal recipient’s estate in order to pay California back for the person’s medical and health expenses.
When the heirs of a Medi-Cal recipient’s estate can prove undue hardship, they may be able to stop estate recovery. When a beneficiary of the Medi-Cal recipient’s estate is disabled or receives certain allowable benefits, he or she can claim undue hardship.
Hiring the skilled estate planning attorneys at Law Office of Daniel Hunt can help you protect your assets. Many Sacramento-area residents have assets that they would like to pass down to their children, grandchildren, and friends. However, with the rising cost of healthcare, many residents need to access Medi-Cal health insurance benefits. We can help you protect your assets for your heirs while still qualifying for Medi-Cal benefits. Our lawyers can help you structure your estate plan in a way that prevents the State of California from attempting to recover your assets after your death under a Medi-Cal recovery claim.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF CREATING A MEDI-CAL TRUST?
Many times, a person’s income or assets disqualify him or her from qualifying for Medi-Cal health insurance. In order to qualify for Medi-Cal health insurance, the Medi-Cal program can take nearly all of the applicant’s income and assets to make him or her eligible for the program. Administrators apply the applicant’s income and assets to his or her qualifying medical bills and Medi-Cal covers the remaining balance.
The goal of an irrevocable Medi-Cal trust is to protect someone’s assets from Medi-Cal recovery claims. At the same time, Medi-Cal allows you to keep a limited amount of your income and assets within the trust. Estate planners can create an irrevocable Medi-Cal trust to protect assets and successfully leave them behind to loved ones after their deaths.
MEDI-CAL TRUSTS MUST BE IRREVOCABLE TO QUALIFY FOR MEDI-CAL BENEFITS
Medi-Cal trusts are only effective in qualifying a person for receiving Medi-Cal benefits when they are irrevocable. In an irrevocable trust, the creator of the trust, or settlor, permanently transfers assets into the trust. In order for a trust to be irrevocable, the settlor must give up ownership and control of the property. In a revocable trust, the settlor can change the terms of a trust or revoke the trust entirely before his or her death. As the name implies, the settlor cannot revoke or modify the terms of an irrevocable trust. Thus, assets in irrevocable trusts can be protected from Cali-Med income calculations.
CONTACT OUR MEDI-CAL PLANNING LAWYERS TODAY
If you have concerns about paying for health care expenses as you age, we can help. Our estate planning lawyers can answer any questions you have regarding Medi-Cal trusts and Medi-Cal estate planning. Contact our Sacramento estate planning firm today to schedule your initial consultation today.