Medi-Cal is California’s health insurance program for low-income or low-resource individuals, funded jointly through state and federal dollars. There are many different Medi-Cal programs, and each program has different eligibility criteria.
The following property is generally exempt and therefore not counted in determining Long Term Care Medi-Cal eligibility:
- The home: totally excluded, if it is the principal residence.
Special Alert Thanks to new laws enacted in 2021, the state is expected to eliminate the Medi-Cal asset test completely no sooner than January 2024.
July 1, 2022 California increased the asset limit for certain Medi-Cal programs, and is expected to eventually remove asset limit requirements altogether. The state raised the Medi-Cal asset limit for a single individual to $130,000, $195,000 for a couple, and $65,000 for each additional family member.
This fact sheet may be useful to married couples or registered domestic partners, one of whom is seeking Medi-Cal benefits to cover the cost of in-home caregiving or other services at home.
A law that became effective January 1, 2016, creates a Revocable Transfer on Death Deed (“TOD Deed”) as a way for California residents to transfer residential property to named beneficiaries, effective upon death.
Any equity borrowed from your home in the form of a lump sum or a line of credit may be counted as an asset for the purposes of Medi-Cal eligibility.
Annuities v. Work Related Pensions There has been a great deal of confusion regarding the treatment of annuities versus the treatment of IRAs, other work-related pension funds or other periodic payment plans.
California’s Medi-Cal applicants and beneficiaries are often confused about their rights regarding Medi-Cal and are particularly concerned that the State will “take” their homes after they die if they received Medi-Cal benefits.
Property Other than the Principal Residence Other real property can be exempt if the net market value of the property is $6,000 or less and if the beneficiary is “utilizing” the property, i.e., receiving yearly income of at least 6% of the net market value.Example:John has some land whose net market value is $5,000.