Tread Carefully: Planning for Medi-Cal

Many Californians lose access to Medi-Cal benefits simply because they are unfamiliar with the system. What most Californians do not realize is that there several options available to establish or maintain their Medi-Cal eligibility.

Medi-Cal eligibility is based on age, financial means, or disability. The State requests information on an individual’s income and expenses to determine financial eligibility. To qualify for the medical benefit, a single person must have no more than $2,000 in assets. That $2,000 does not count a home or car, unless the person owns more than one. For married couples who apply for Medi-Cal together must fall under the $3,000 threshold for assets.

In the event one spouse requires Medi-Cal but the other spouse is generally healthy, allocating assets between the spouses can produce an enormous advantage to the couple. The healthy spouse may hold ownership of the majority of the couple’s assets (up to $109,560.00) in order to keep the unhealthy spouse below the means test threshold. This solution is generally recommended for persons in long-standing, stable marriages.

Medi-Cal rules are constantly under review by state officials and may change year to year. If you have questions about Medi-Cal or allocating assets to cover health care costs, feel free to contact us at (626) 696-3145.

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