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Senior Information


Common Misperceptions

Are you under the misperception you can simply give assets away to qualify for Medi-Cal? It sounds like an easy solution. However, a transfer of assets made prior to applying for Medi-Cal may create a penalty period of ineligibility. The rules on penalties are complicated and vary greatly.

Are you under the misperception that you have to spend down there money to qualify for Medi-Cal. Sounds fun doesn’t it. However, spending down all your money may leave your spouse or you with little saving on which to live.

Are you under the misperception that Medi-Cal will take your home if you should need to go into Long Term Care?


Replace Misperceptions with Understanding

At D.A. Santos and Associates we help you walk through the misperception and misunderstanding of Medi-Cal requirements. Let’s just take the one about your house. If you are single and own a house, of any value and it is your principle residence, it is not counted if:

  • You specify on the Medi-Cal application that you intend to return home when your health improves.
  • You are married and your spouse lives in the home.

That said, you do need to start planning to protect your home. We can help you know how to protect yourself and your loved ones. If you have a spouse in a nursing home and are concerned about an estate claim, you might consider having the institutionalized spouse’s interest in the home transferred to you – the at-home spouse.

We suggest that any such transfers mentioned above should be reviewed with a qualified Medi-Cal knowledgeable estate planning attorney. Real property transfers usually involve tax consequences, which may outweigh the benefits of the transfer.


Long Term Care

According to the Boston Globe, 60% of Americans over the age of 65 will need some form of long-term care at one point in their lives. That is three out of every five people over age 65!

Many people are not prepared for the financial drain of Long Term Care. They pay out-of-pocket until they have spent down all their money and no longer are able to meet the daily cost of living or they run out of private insurance. The fact is:

  • Medicare does not cover custodial care which most patients revert to quickly.
  • Custodial care means private pay which ranges from $7,500-$10,000 per month.
  • Seniors are unable to return home. Hiring a caregiver is no longer an option due to depleted assets resulting in financial dependency on their children


At D.A. Santos and Associates we recommend you call for a free consult to see if you qualify for Medi-Cal. It is need-based and covers long-term care only if you qualify. We understand that it may be difficult to imagine you or your spouse entering a nursing home, but it can happen to anyone. Someday you will look back with thankfulness on your pre-planning.


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