|Return to "Happenings!" index||April 13, 2018|
In this issue:
Del Oro: Cruise Around the World
Info for Caregivers: Applying for Medi-Cal
At some point, a caregiver will consider placing their loved one in a care facility. However, fear of the skyrocketing costs of such facilities will add to the caregiver’s stress. To help pay for care at a facility, you should review your loved one’s eligibility for Medi-Cal BEFORE YOU NEED IT. Many times we have heard people say, “I wish I would have done this sooner!”
When you wait, you may use up precious assets that the caregiver and family may need in the future. In addition, you lose the ability to re-structure your financial situation to help with eligibility. Plus, delaying means you are applying further into your loved one’s illness when you need it immediately and when the caregiver is at their most stressed. That may affect your ability to make the best decisions. Deal with the application process before you really need it.
Although Medi-Cal is a “needs-based" program and subject to eligibility criteria, there are a lot of options for gaining access to the program. For example, although the applicant can only have up to $2,000 in property, which does not include assets such as the home, one vehicle, household goods, and personal effects, the non-institutionalized spouse can have an additional $123,600 for 2018.
There is also an increase in the Monthly Minimum Maintenance Needs Allowance (MMMNA) for 2018 that allows the community spouse to keep at least $3,090 in income each month. You should also know that there are different qualifiers depending on the source of the income and/or the named payee.
The 30-month look-back period is still in effect for 2018. This period is the time limit prior to application before which you must move assets into the caregiver’s name rather than your loved one. However, the transference of property without triggering an ineligibility period is now up to $8,515, which is the new average private pay rate for a skilled nursing facility. Knowing how to use these transfer rules can be beneficial to the caregiver in speeding up placement for their loved one and in preserving the family’s estate.
In addition, many families do not realize that, after your loved one dies, the Medi-Cal Estate Recovery Program will seek repayment of money spent to care for their love one. However, as of January 1, 2017, a simple Revocable or Living Trust can now protect the home (and other assets) from recovery should one (or both) of the spouses use Medi-Cal after the age of 55.
The Alzheimer’s Aid Society is here to help you, at no charge, through the complicated eligibility and application process and to advise you on estate planning. We can also answer questions about the Veteran’s Aid and Attendance Program. Just call our office at 916-483-2002 for an appointment or to speak to Max Perry. We are here to help.
Can You Help? We Need Volunteers
We have an urgent need for volunteers to help in our office to answer phones and assist visitors. In addition, office volunteers will make copies and may respond to office e-mail. We also need a volunteer to facilitate the patient support group for the Tuesday morning caregiver support group. If you are interested in finding out more, please call our office at (916) 483-2002.
What is "Happenings!"
"Happenings!" is the our monthly e-mail newsletter for the Alzheimer's Aid Society. We send it at the beginning of the month so you can stay up-to-date on events and news in northern California. We will also include tips for caregivers and highlight new scientific research. Recent issues are available on our website. Do you have a comment or feedback? Please reply to this message - we would love to hear from you.
Copyright © 2018 Alzheimer's Aid Society of Northern California, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
2641 Cottage Way #4
Sacramento, CA 95825 USA
Phone: (916) 483-2002