Legions of aging baby boomers in California and across the country believe that many of their financial concerns regarding health care will abate as they enter their senior years, owing to their eligibility for Medicare benefits they have worked hard for over decades.
There is certainly some reasonable basis for that expectation, given the intent of Medicare to seamlessly step in for company-sponsored or privately secured insurance coverage at the age of 65.
Notwithstanding commonplace views concerning Medicare, though, government health coverage is in fact anything but comprehensive, nor is it intended to cover all medical costs.
In fact, many people don’t know that Medicare doesn’t even apply to situations involving long-term care that an individual might require in a nursing home or similar care facility. When incapacity mandates long-term care in a home, it is in fact the government Medicaid program (termed Medi-Cal in California) that primarily provides financial assistance.
One point concerning Medi-Cal commands immediate attention, and it is this: the program is inherently complex. As we note on our estate planning website at the Orange County Newman Law Group, “Laws governing Medi-Cal eligibility are very complicated and change from one year to the next.”
Many people find that out quite quickly when a loved one suddenly requires long-term care. A dilemma that many families confront is the possibility that their loved one might be deemed ineligible for Medi-Cal assistance because of family wealth that is deemed to be beyond a qualifying threshold.
That is just one concern. There are of course others, coupled with the reality that dutifully and timely complying with all eligibility prerequisites can be a cumbersome and exceedingly complex proposition.
Our law firm routinely tells concerned clients and other parties who solicit our input to not give up hope concerning Medi-Cal qualification. As we note on our site, we engage “a variety of tools and strategies to help [applicants] qualify for assistance from Medi-Cal to cover nursing home costs.”
Being timely regarding long-term care considerations is maximally important. We would advise any individual or family having questions or concerns about Medi-Cal to seek assistance from an experienced elder law attorney without delay.