Certain assets are generally exempt, or not counted, for Medi-Cal eligibility. The following is a partial list of exempt assets. There are, of course, rules affecting each of these items. As a result, please consult your elder law attorney.
- One automobile is exempt for qualification. Many people think that if they have two cars, they have to sell one to become eligible. This is not true. The second car is counted as an asset, and the value is determined by the Medi-Cal eligibility worker.
- Whole life insurance policies are exempt, provided that they do not have more than $1500 cash in value. If they do, you must transfer the asset, cash it in, or take other steps to lower the value. Be sure your durable power of attorney has the appropriate elder law/asset protection language in it to accomplish this, in the event you lose the ability to accomplish this yourself.
- You can have term life insurance in any amount.
- You can transfer monetary assets into an irrevocable final expense trust. This is a good planning technique to lower cash assets for Medi-Cal qualification. When the recipient passes away, the funds can be used at any funeral home in any state. Funds not used are subject to Medi-Cal recovery. Another advantage is that part of the family’s concern about burial plans is taken care of ahead of time.
- IRAs, pension funds and work related annuities are exempt. Medi-Cal does have distribution rules for principal and accrued interest however.
- $2,000 in cash.
- Your home is exempt for qualification.
By Michael J. Young, elder law and estate planning attorney in Walnut Creek, Contra Costa County, California. Mr. Young’s office is located at 1931 San Miguel Dr., Ste. 220, Walnut Creek, CA 94596. His office number is 925-256-0298 and his e-mail address is LawYoung1@gmail.com. You can go to his web site at www.WalnutCreekElderLaw.com Mr. Young serves senior clients and their families in Contra Costa and Alameda Counties. He also has many senior clients in Danville, Brentwood, Pleasant Hill, Antioch, Concord, Alameda and surrounding communities. His long term care plans for older clients help families prepare to pay for nursing home costs and to preserve assets. He also helps his clients apply for Medi-Cal and the VA Improved Pension, Aid and Attendance benefit. You may see Mr. Young’s “Nuts and Bolts” Guide to Veteran’s Benefits at the following link. www.walnutcreekelderlaw.com/GuideToVeteransBenefits.html Please check his web site for upcoming seminars.