Medi-Cal Basics

Medi-Cal Basics

Growing older often means some very complicated decisions must be made about health care and long-term living arrangements. Most people are already aware of Medicare by the time they hit retirement age, and may be expecting it to pay for all future medical expenses. Unfortunately, Medicare often does not cover all of the costs of necessary care. In many cases Medi-Cal will be needed to cover these additional expenses.

Those who find themselves in a situation which requires long-term nursing care often receive an unpleasant surprise from Medicare. While Medicare does pay for a nursing home stay in certain circumstances, there are many cases in which there is no coverage for this type of care. In this situation the individual or his or her caretaker will need to apply for Medi-Cal, which will cover the high costs of a nursing home or In Home Supportive Services (IHSS).

If the patient is transferred to a nursing home directly from a hospital, and is expected to stay at least three days, Medicare may pay the bill. The patient must be in the home because he or she needs daily rehabilitation services, or specialized physician or nursing care. An example of this type of situation would be the level of care needed to recover from a stroke.

However, Medicare will not pay for a nursing home stay unless the referral was made for the aforementioned reasons. There are many other situations in which someone may need this level of care. For instance, those who need assistance with personal care like bathing, remembering medications, and preparing meals often decide a nursing home is the best environment for meeting those needs. Another option in this situation is In Home Supportive Services. The individual or his or her caretaker will need to apply for Medi-Cal, which is another form of health insurance. Medi-Cal does not replace Medicare, but is used as supplementary insurance to help pay for these costs not covered by Medicare.

Navigating the Medi-Cal application process can be quite difficult in many circumstances. The experienced attorneys at the Bethel Law Corporation can help guide applicants through this process, advise them on legally rearranging assets, and aide them in avoiding future recovery claims by the state of California.

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