Trusts and Estates Blog

Keep an Eye on Medicaid/Medi-Cal Developments

Senior couple on cycle rideMedicaid is a program that affects millions of Americans. (California renamed its Medicaid program “Medi-Cal”). Originally established to help elderly citizens cover medical costs, the program has grown exponentially and is a large cost to many states. Since the federal government only pays 57% of the total costs of the Medicaid program, individual states are required to supplement additional funding for the program.

The Medicaid program is one of the largest line items on many state budgets. In fact, 20% of Texas’ massive budget is dedicated to paying for the Medicaid program. Due to the increased strain of the program on states, many states are considering pulling out of the Medicaid program (states such as Nevada, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming).

Increasing that strain on states are new mandates in the recently passed health care reform bill. Beginning in 2014, states are expected to expand Medicaid coverage to all non-elderly citizens who have family incomes below 136% of the federal poverty level. For the first three years, the government will subsidize the cost of expansion, but beginning in 2017, states will be expected to take over financing of the expanded program.

Already struggling through the recent economic drought, many states are breaking under the financial strain of the Medicaid program. Many states (with both Republican and Democratic governors) don’t feel they will be able to contribute the required additional dollars to fund the expanded program.

The stated goal of those states considering withdrawal from the program is to replace Medicaid and its mandates with a state-level program that are more flexible and employ stricter eligibility criteria.

Since Medicaid is the primary source of payment for nursing home care and some private care, these changes have the potential to affect many Americans currently receiving care. Should your state withdraw from the Medicaid program or employ a new system, Medicaid care will become unavailable for you or your loved ones and planning for future care will become more difficult.

Keep an eye on these developments in your state. There’s no guarantee your state will withdraw from the program, but as you plan your long-term care, you must be aware of such changes.

If you would like more information concerning Medi-Cal for long term care, contact Antelope Valley law firm Thompson Von Tungeln (TVT) at 661-945-5868 or visit their websites at www.EstatePlanningSpecialists.com and www.Medi-CalHelp.com. www.EstatePlanningSpecialists.com is a comprehensive online resource for personal wealth management solutions through wills and revocable trusts. www.Medi-CalHelp.com is a comprehensive online resource for long term nursing home care for the middle class. As Board Certified Specialists in Estate Planning, Trusts and Probate as certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, partners Mark E. Thompson and Kevin L. Von Tungeln are expertly equipped to serve clients with the creative, effective and custom solutions they demand.

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