Many people think that Medicare will pay for the costs of long term care and are surprised to learn that it won’t. Medicare is health insurance and it pays for hospitals, doctors, lab tests, rehabilitation and many other health related services but it won’t pay any of the costs of long term care.
Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program and can be an important part of planning for long term care. Many people think that they won’t qualify for Medi-Cal assistance but are surprised to learn that many types of assets are not counted, that married couples are allowed to have a significant amount of wealth and still qualify, and that in certain circumstances it is possible to transfer assets to their children.
Medi-Cal can be useful as it will pay for the costs of a skilled nursing facility when a patient reaches a high level of care. The costs of a skilled nursing facility average about $7,500 a month, so planning in advance for Medi-Cal assistance is often a wise idea. Medi-Cal can also be used to pay for Adult Day Care as well as a limited amount of in-home care and in some-case Assisted Living Communities or Board & Cares. It can also be used to eliminate copays on medications and doctor and hospital visits. It many situations, it can eliminate the need for expensive Medicare supplements.
Although a patient may not need Medi-Cal coverage now, there are steps that can be taken currently to improve the likelihood of qualifying in the future. Be careful about trying to do the planning on your own based on what you find on the internet. Most of the Medicaid information on the web does not pertain to California. California is still operating with very different guidelines compared to other states.
At Pathfinder Senior Care Consulting we can show you whether Medi-Cal planning is an appropriate planning tool for you and what you need to know. Veterans Benefits can also be a helpful source for making care affordable.