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Estate planning in San Jose

LAWSolutions focuses on Elder Law with a particular emphasis in Medi-Cal Eligibility & Recovery Prevention Planning

As our population ages there is a greater need for planning when it comes to long term care and health care decisions for our loved ones. Without proper planning, long term care costs can financially devastate families. Medi-Cal is one avenue that can assist with the costs of care. However, without a comprehensive plan, to properly transfer your estate, you run the risk of violating the Medi-Cal rules concerning to attain eligibility and would, therefore, be forced to spend down other assets that could have been saved. 

Why Do You Need Medi-Cal? 

Simply: If you do nothing, you will lose everything!

As we reach the end of our natural lifespan, and if we are lucky, we will just die in our sleep of old age. However, It is more likely that we will become sick and need the services of a skilled nursing facility.

If you or your loved one had no long term care insurance coverage and had to pay out of your pocket for the cost of care at a skilled nursing facility in California, the average cost would be between $5,500  and 12,000 per month.  An average length of stay in a skilled nursing facility is 2 years however, in cases where Alzheimer's or other dementia related illness are involved, it can be significantly longer.

If you or a loved one has Medicare and need long term care, the Medicare program has a 100 day limit* and only provides 100% coverage for the first 20 days in a skilled nursing home facility.
*Your ability to have Medicare pay for your time in a skilled nursing facility (therapeutic environment) is based on your individual diagnosis and you may, or may not, be qualified for all 100 days.

Once the 20 day - 100% coverage is exhausted Medicare extends benefits another 80 days at 80% coverage which means, if you do not have a Medicare supplemental policy (or haven't met the exclusion period of your Long Term Care Policy) you are responsible for the 20% co-pay for the remaining 80 days or totaling a cost of approximately $1,100.00 to $2,400.00 per month for the duration of Medicare coverage.

Once the 100 days are up, it is very rare to receive an extension, and you typically receive no more skilled nursing facility benefits through Medicare. You are essentially left with three to four options:

--You can pay out of your own pocket.

--Your relatives can pay out of their own pockets.

--If you purchased long term insurance you will have limited benefits and still have a significant out of pocket share of cost or co-pay after you have met the exclusionary waiting period.

--Get qualified for Medi-Cal benefits.

Medi-Cal is California's version of the federal Medicaid program that provides additional health insurance for qualified individuals who are financially qualified, blind or disabled.  

Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about the program itself and the criteria used for eligibility.  

First, you do not have to be indigent or destitute to qualify for Medi-Cal.  

Second, simply qualifying for Medi-Cal is not enough to protect your assets.  A strategic plan must be implemented so that assets are protected and preserved from recovery by the State of California after death.

Although the qualification process is full of complicated regulations that are ever changing, LAWSolutions lead attorney, Barbara Bangs, uses her vast experience and knowledge to implement various Medi-Cal eligibility planning techniques to quickly achieve a legal and successful Medi-Cal plan to attain approval of your application.

We encourage you to call us for a FREE consultation so that we may assess your individual needs and determine whether or not we can help you.


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