Medi-Cal FAQs

Q: Isn’t Medi-Cal Welfare?

A: NO!  Medi-Cal (which is the California version of the Federal Medicaid program) is the long-term health care program created at the same time as Medicare by the Older Americans Act of 1966.  Medicaid was created to ensure that seniors and their families would not suffer financial devastation as a result of long term illness.

The Cost of Healthcare

As President Lyndon Johnson said when he signed the Older Americans Act into law, “No Longer will older Americans be denied the healing miracle of modern medicine. No longer will illness crush and destroy the savings that they have so carefully put away over a lifetime so that they might enjoy dignity in their later years. No longer will young families see their own incomes, and their own hopes, eaten away simply because they are carrying out their deep moral obligations to their parents, and to their uncles, and their aunts. And no longer will this Nation refuse the hand of justice to those who have given a lifetime of service and wisdom and labor to the progress of this progressive country.”

Q: But Don’t I Make Too Much Money to Qualify For Medi-Cal? 

A: If your medical expenses exceed your income – then you are qualified to receive Medi-Cal.  Considering the fact that average cost of a skilled nursing facility in the Coachella Valley is between $9,000 and $15,000 per month, if your income is less than that, then you are qualified for Medi-Cal.

Q: But Don’t I Have To Spend All My Money Before Medi-Cal Will Start Paying?

A: NO! While Medi-Cal has limits on the amount of assets which a single person or a married couple are allowed to have, the law also provides for various exemptions (property that is not counted as an asset for Medi-Cal purposes.)  By using the tools which the law provides, Desert Elder Law helps its clients protect their non-exempt assets in order to ensure their qualification for long-term care programs such as Medi-Cal and the Veterans Administration’s Aid and Attendance Program.