Some people confuse Medicare with Medi-Cal. Medicare is an insurance program that we obtain when we reach the age of 65 and are entitled to Social Security benefits and we also receive Medicare benefits. Medicare is considered an “entitlement” program. Medi-Cal, on the other hand, is a form of insurance, that as we stated before is a joint federal-state program. Each state operates its own Medicaid system, but this system must conform to federal guidelines for the state to receive federal money, which pays for about half the state’s Medicaid costs. (The state picks up the rest of the tab.)
In order to qualify for Medi-Cal, long term-care, you must be medically needy and have limited assets. Most people think of Medi-Cal as a program that requires you to be impoverished in order to qualify for Medi-Cal.
The Federal government keeps changing the eligibility requirements and the requirements are generally mor restrictive than the previous rules.
The most recent changes occurred when the government passed the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (the “DRA”), which was enacted on February 8, 2006, and significantly changed the rules governing the treatment of asset transfers and homes of nursing home residents. The implementation of these differs from state to state, and as of early 2020, California is the only state in the union that has not adopted the DRA rules. California is still operating under older, more lenient rules.