For Medi-Cal eligibility, the single applicant must have no more than $2,000 in non-exempt assets in her name. If you just give away your assets, without proper planning, and you want to enter a nursing home, you may create a period of ineligibility for Med-Cal. The ineligibility period begins at the date of the transfer.

             Medi-Cal presently has a 30 month look back period, and they use a divisor of $5,698, which is known as the average private pay rate (APPR). This figure is used to determine the period of ineligibility. So for example, if you transfer $20,000 to a family member, and divide that figure by $5,698 you will have 3.5 months of ineligibility. This is rounded down to three months of ineligibility from the date of the gift. If this gift is made in November, 2009, the applicant would be ineligible for November and December of 2009, and ineligible for January, 2010. She would be eligible in February, 2010.

            If $200,000 is transferred to another individual, (divided by $5,698), 35 months of ineligibility is created. However, Medi-Cal presently has a 30 month look back period. So, after 30 months have passed from the date of this transfer, the applicant would be eligible for Medi-Cal.

             There are also acceptable and legal methods for transferring assets, among family members for instance, which create fewer months of ineligibility. An elder law attorney familiar with nursing home and Medi-Cal eligibility can advise you on these matters.

            By, Michael J. Young elder law attorney in Walnut Creek, CA.

            Mr. Young is an elder law attorney who practices in the east bay. His office is in Contra Costa County, located at 1931 San Miguel Dr., Ste. 220, Walnut Creek, CA. Mr. Young has East Bay elder law clients who live in such towns as Brentwood, Antioch, Concord, Alamo, Walnut Creek, etc.  Many of his clients are concerned about how they will pay for their nursing home costs. Mr. Young prepares long term care plans for his clients, which may include utilizing Medi-Cal and the Veterans Administration Aid and Attendance Benefit for wartime veterans. 925-256-0298

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