California Medicaid Long Term Care Guide

South San Francisco, CA   October 14, 2016 Submitted by Max Gottlieb, Senior Planning senior-planning-logo1-300x41

I work with an organization called Senior Planning and we provide free assistance to seniors and their families regarding elder care and housing options. We’re excited to announce the completion of a much-needed nationwide resource. We’ve put together a comprehensive summary of state Medicaid programs for long-term care. Each state has individual programs and eligibility requirements that many people are unaware of. Surprisingly, through months of research, we’ve discovered this type of resource does not exist anywhere else on the web.


Medicaid is not meant to be complicated, but unfortunately there is so much information out there that people don’t know where to start. Maybe you’ve called your state office, only to be redirected to someone else in a different office. Or perhaps you’ve gotten to the application phase, but don’t know whether it’s correct or even complete.  Wherever you may be in the process, our Medicaid guide will help.


In California, long-term care benefits are handled under Medi-Cal, but the qualification process is different than general Medicaid. Long-term care benefits are reserved for people who need care at the nursing home level. Some people who think they should qualify may not actually need care at that high of a level. Before qualifying for Medicaid, the state will send out an agent to perform a medical evaluation. The medical evaluation serves two purposes. First, it determines eligibility, but second, it helps the patient and their family develop a suitable care plan.


Next, and of equal importance, are income and assets. Medicaid has strict rules for both. There are certain assets that are exempt from Medicaid, but beyond the scope of this brief post, so be sure to read our California page thoroughly. For married couples there is a little bit more flexibility because in most scenarios, one spouse remains out of long-term care and is called the community spouse. There are rules in place to prevent the medically needy spouse from completely draining assets and income from the community spouse.


As a final note, it’s worth keeping in mind that not all homes or facilities automatically accept Medicaid. You’ll have to do some research on your local elder care facilities before deciding on where to relocate. While researching, you will find that there are many organizations and senior care experts willing to work with you for free to help decide what the best plan of action may be.


If you missed the links up top, click here to see the full Medicaid map and be sure to click on California.

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