Income & Assets
To qualify for Medi-Cal based on your income, your annual earnings must be less than 138% of the Federal Poverty Level for your household size (266% of FPL if you're a child). Therefore, to qualify based on your family size, your annual income cannot exceed:
- One-person household: $17,609
- Two-member household: $23,792
- Three-member household: $29,974
- Four-member household: $36,156
- Five-member household: $42,339
Medi-Cal offers free or low-cost healthcare coverage for residents of California who meet the eligibility requirements. If your application for Medi-Cal is approved, your healthcare coverage will be available through a managed care program.
Medically Needy Pathway
California residents who are over the age of 65 years and do not meet the Medi-Cal eligibility requirements can qualify for Medi-Cal through the Aged, Blind and Disabled — Medically Needy Program (ABD-MN).
The program takes the person's countable monthly income into account and deducts a predetermined Maintenance Need Allowance (MNA). As of 2021, MNA in California is:
- $600 for individuals
- $934 for married couples
Your cost of share will be used to pay for the medical bills.
Medi-Cal imposes a "look-back" period which prohibits applicants from transferring assets out as gifts or selling below the fair market value in order to meet income and "countable resources" limits. The look-back period in California is 30 months. For each $6,840 of gifts given during the "look back" period, the person loses one month of Medi-Cal eligibility.
Reasons to Take Advantage of Medi-Cal
As mentioned above, long-term care can be costly in the long run. Taking advantage of Medi-Cal planning helps individuals and families properly plan for the expensive costs of long-term care. With Medi-Cal planning, families can protect assets like property and finances. It can also ensure that you don't end up spending down your retirement savings on nursing home care or assisted living.
Work with Experienced Attorneys
Even for the most prudent savers, sustaining the financial cost of long-term care can be difficult. Especially when nursing home care is needed, the financial ramifications can be overwhelming. Fortunately, families can prepare properly for long-term care through Medi-Cal planning. Knowledgeable estate planning attorneys can evaluate your unique situation and determine the best solution that meets your needs.
At The Elder & Disability Law Firm, APC, we are committed to helping older adults and their families plan for life's uncertainties and long-term care. As your legal counsel, we will help you understand your options and determine the right plan for you. Our team will help you fill out the necessary paperwork, provide supporting documentation, and submit your Medi-Cal application. We will guide you through every phase of the application process and craft a strategic solution to protect your income and assets.