If you plan to make an application for Medicaid benefits in California, you need to understand how Medi-Cal works. These laws and rules are very complicated and what seems like a minor mistake could be catastrophic in relation to a Medicaid application.

With the right professional team of advisors, such as an elder law attorney and an accountant, however, you can feel more confident about your overall estate planning strategy and ability to qualify for Medicaid should the need arise.

Medi-Cal recovery refers to a process that happens when a beneficiary under Medicaid passes away. The home belonging to a beneficiary is considered exempt while that person is still alive, but the home can be subject to the recovery process if the property has stayed in the name of the former beneficiary.

The state of California, therefore, is eligible to make claims against two kinds of beneficiaries:

  • Those of any age who got Medi-Cal benefits in a nursing home except in cases in which the beneficiary has a blind or disabled child or a surviving spouse.
  • The estate of a person previously getting Medi-Cal benefits who was receiving those for nursing home support.

The state is, however, limited in their total recovery process. California can only recover the amount of the beneficiary’s estate or the amount paid into Medi-Cal benefits, whichever of the two numbers is less.

Reading this, you might be ready to put together your own Medicaid plan to help avoid this situation. The only way to avoid estate claims is to ensure that nothing remains in the estate of the beneficiary. Transfer of property comes with its own set of complicated tax repercussions, however, and this makes it even more important for the future Medicaid applicant to consider the transfer move most appropriate for their individual situation.

Need help or more answers to your own questions? Our Pasadena Medi-Cal elder law attorneys are here to help you understand how this affects your future.


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