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What do I do if I don't qualify for senior care programs in California?

What does one do if one's income is too high to qualify for Cal-med with its various medical benefits including home health care, assisted living, and nursing home, but not enough to be able to afford any of these since Medicare doesn't cover them?
Status: Open    Nov 23, 2015 - 07:29 AM

Medicare/Medicaid, Finance

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Expert Answers

Dec 15, 2015 - 09:29 AM

Income will not disqualify an applicant from Long Term Care Medi-Cal (skilled nursing home care). The Share of Costs will be adjusted depending on income. There may need to be some reallocation of assets and in California, an elder law attorney can assist with this process.

Medi-CAL for community based programs also will establish and Share of Costs to allow an applicant to qualify, but in this situation it may not be beneficial depending on what Medi-CAL will provide as medical services. This needs to be carefully evaluated before applying for Medi-Cal.

** Remember that if you own a home (this is an exempt asset, so you can have a house and qualify) and are on Medi-CAL, you may be subject to Medi-CAL Estate Recovery upon your death, so it is important to review your specific situation with an experienced elder law attorney that understands the laws in California and how to legally avoid estate recovery, which are different than any other state.

Also if you or your spouse are over 65 and are a US wartime veteran (or surviving spouse of war time veteran) , you may qualify for Veterans’ Aid & Attendance to help with at home or assisted living care (medical) payments. It is a detailed process but can help with unpaid medical expenses, including care authorized by your doctor.

Hope this helps you see some options.
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