California Elder Law and Medi-Cal Planning

Elder law and Medi-Cal planning concept: Asian elderly family on beach vacation.

Elder law encompasses a wide range of practice areas, including estate planning, long-term care planning, Medicaid/Medi-Cal planning, asset protection, conservatorship, and more. Our firm will use all of these strategies to help you and your family manage the challenges that come with growing older. Remember – it’s never too late to start planning. It’s only too late if you file for benefits at the wrong time. But our experienced team won’t let that happen to you.

Long-Term Care Planning

One of the top challenges for seniors is finding ways to pay for long-term care. Americans are living longer than ever before. And while this is great news, it comes with a downside. Many of us will eventually need long-term care, and this care is expensive.

In the state of California, the median annual cost of a private room in a nursing home was $146,000 in 2021. The cost of nursing home care and other types of long-term care are expected to rise dramatically in the future. Sadly, many families exhaust their life savings within a year or two of a family member entering a nursing home. Fortunately, we can help you obtain the care you need without losing the assets you have worked a lifetime to build.

One way to ensure you and your family are protected for the future is to start pre-planning now. Together, we can use a wide range of tools to help you create a plan that will give you the peace of mind by knowing you will be able to receive the care you need in the future, without losing your life savings.

Long-Term Care Planning with Medicare v. Medi-Cal

Many people are confused about the difference between Medicare and Medicaid when it comes to paying for long-term care. By and large, Medicare does not cover long-term nursing home care. Medicare Part A will pay for up to 100 days in a skilled nursing facility for a particular illness, and only after the individual has spent at least three days in a hospital. Another problem is that from day 21 to day 100, a patient in a skilled nursing facility must make a copayment of $176 per day (this was the copay in 2020).

Medi-Cal is the Medicaid program in the state of California, and in contrast Medi-Cal will cover long-term nursing home care for those who meet its asset and income levels. Given the high cost of nursing home care, the lack of affordable alternatives, and the limited nature of Medicare coverage, Medi-Cal is now the largest payer of nursing home stays in the state. There are many Medicaid insurance programs available in California, including in-home support and nursing home programs.

It’s incredibly important to speak with an experienced attorney, like Penelope, before you file your application. Our office can help you create a comprehensive application plan that will protect yourself and your loved ones. It’s no secret Medicare and Medi-Cal are not user friendly, but we are here to help!

With proper planning, our team can help you get the care you need while protecting your assets. We will help you determine how you can best plan for long-term care and how you can obtain assistance from Medi-Cal.

Contact Us Today to Discuss Your Unique Needs and Goals

    Medical Crisis Planning

    A Medi-Cal crisis is a situation where an individual must enter a nursing home quickly and has been informed that they are not eligible for Medicaid benefits to help pay for their care. Given that in California the median annual cost of a private room in a nursing home exceeds $146,000, this is indeed a crisis situation for the vast majority of families. In fact, many families exhaust their life savings within a year or two of a family member entering a nursing home.

    But you don’t have to give away everything you have to the nursing home!

    If you are currently facing a Medi-Cal crisis, there are several long-term care programs available to California residents. These programs have different operational and eligibility requirements, together with varying benefits. We are experienced with all aspects of Medi-Cal and can help you become eligible for benefits to pay for your care.

    We have helped many families manage Medi-Cal crisis situations and obtain necessary care without going broke. We welcome the opportunity to do the same for you and your family.