There is an unfortunate amount of misinformation and misunderstanding about how to qualify for Long Term Care Medi-Cal.
Much of this misinformation is dispensed by professionals who believe they understand the programs, but do not. Some of this misinformation actually comes from Medi-Cal eligibility workers not familiar with all of the rules of Long Term Care Medi-Cal, or who confuse the rules with those for other Medi-Cal programs. As a result, many people think they must spend all their assets down to less than $2,000 to qualify for Medi-Cal. This is almost never true. While an unmarried applicant can have no more than $2,000 of “countable” resources in their name, many assets are considered “exempt” or “unavailable.” Their home, for example, is exempt. An “unavailable” asset is one that is not exempt, but for one reason or another, cannot be liquidated or readily accessed at the time of the application. An example might a time-share that would be difficult to sell. If married, the at-home spouse will be able to keep at least an additional $117,240 above and beyond any exempt or unavailable property as a Community Spouse Resource Allowance (CSRA). In many cases the CSRA can be raised further, sometimes substantially further. A Certified Elder Law Attorney can advise you whether or not you would qualify for this increase and explain how this is done.