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Frequently Asked Questions About Senior Care

Check out some of our most frequently asked questions about senior care, VA benefits, and Medi-Cal below. If you have a question not on this list, please feel free to reach out to us and we will be happy to help.
What are the new Medi-Cal rules?
The recent changes took effect on July 1, 2022. They are as follows:
a. The current asset limit for a single individual is now $130,000.
b. The current asset limit for a couple is $195,000.
c. For each additional family member, you can add an additional $65,000.
d. Even more interesting is the fact that CA is expected to drop the asset limit altogether on January 1, 2024. 
Read more about the changes on our blog.
What are the new VA rules?
These rules changed in October 2018.
a. The net worth asset limit is now tied to the Medicaid Spousal Impoverishment level (currently $137,400) and increases for inflation. Annual income is added to the net worth amount when determining eligibility.

b. There are also now transfer penalties for transferring assets out of your name to reduce your countable assets to less than the allowable limit. The look back period is 36 months immediately prior to filing an application for benefits. Additionally, there is up to a 5-year penalty period created by an improper transfer.
The hospital is demanding that we take my loved one home, even though we cannot care for them. Do I have options?
Yes, the hospital cannot legally discharge a patient to a lesser level of care. That is called an unsafe discharge. Unfortunately, it happens on a regular basis because people don’t know their rights.
How do we appeal Medicare's decision to end therapy?
The facility must provide you with the contact information and any necessary forms along with the patient’s medical information so that you can file a timely appeal. There is also a second appeal available when you are denied on the first one.
How do I know if it's time to start planning for government benefits?
a. Have you called 911 more than twice in the last three months?
b. Have you worried that your loved one shouldn’t be left alone? Or driving still?
c. Do they miss paying bills, or pay them more than once?
d. Are they irregular in taking medications?
e. Have you noticed a decline in their desire to participate with you, and/or communicate with others?
f. Are you paying caregivers and still worried about whether they are being properly cared for?
g. Are you worried about running out of money?
h. If the answer to any of these is yes, it's time. If you’re unsure, our free consultation will set your mind at ease.
Is there any way to get the Assisted Living Waiver without waiting two years?
Although the current wait time is two years, we average about four months because we know the approved ways to expedite the application.
Why does the VA application take so long?
The average across the nation is 6-9 months, which is much better than it used to be. When you apply under the “Fully Developed” method, the VA can process the application much quicker, and as a result we average 41 days.
What about the lookback period?
This is probably the most misunderstood part of the process. The lookback does not mean that a person must wait 30 months from the last transfer or gift before applying, it simply requires an applicant to disclose all transfers and gifts that occurred during the prior 30 months from the application date. However, many people end up incurring a Period of Ineligibility due to their lack of knowledge of the applicable regulations, and this is completely avoidable when done correctly.
I am still financially able to pay for a nursing home, should I apply for Medi-Cal now?
85% of nursing home residents are on Medi-Cal. However, only a few of them started out that way. There are laws that allow you to hold on to your savings and not go broke.

Read more about applying for Medi-Cal in our recent blog post.
Will the level of care go down by switching to Medi-Cal payment?
No. There are strict laws that prohibit treating patients differently based on their method of payment.
Will Medi-Cal make us repay them for benefits provided?
Not if you take the proper legal steps to avoid Medi-Cal Estate Recovery.

Have more questions?

We'd be happy to help.
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