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Medi-Cal Estate Recovery is changing. Is it for the better?

On June 27, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that limits the state's seizure of assets from the estates of low-income residents ages 55 to 64. This is a good thing. 

But note that while this is a positive thing, estate recovery is still in effect. After age 65, any money spent on long-term care is still going to be added to your "tab". The gentleman in this linked article is relieved to hear of the news and states the following:

"They can still come after me if I end up in a nursing home or need home care,'' said the 64-year-old Richmond resident. "But other than that, the standard stuff I was so up in arms about will no longer exist. My home will go to my kids.''

The need for long-term care is not going away anytime soon, especially with our population living longer. According to a study by longtermcare.gov, someone turning age 65 today has almost a 70% chance of needing some type of long-term care services and support in their remaining years.

In addition, the bill states that it allows a hardship exemption from estate recovery for a home of modest value (fair market value is 50 percent or less of the average price of homes in the same county). In San Bernardino County, the median value of homes is $285.600. In Riverside County, the median is $324,300.

This new law adjustment will provide a fair amount of help to our seniors, and to the category that needs the protection the most. But it will continue to affect 50% of 70% of our seniors that need long-term care.

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