Important Facts About Medi-Cal: Resource (Asset) Rules
These are general federal guidelines. The specific rules in your state may differ somewhat.
In order to be eligible for Medi-Cal benefits a nursing home resident may have no more than $2,000 in “countable” assets.
The spouse of a nursing home resident—called the ‘community spouse’— is limited to one half of the couple’s joint assets up to $89,280 (in 2002) in “countable” assets (see Medi-Cal, Protections for the Healthy Spouse). The $89,280 figure changes each year to reflect inflation. In addition, the community spouse may keep the first $17,856 (in 2002), even if that is more than half of the couple’s assets. This figure is higher in some states.
All assets are counted against these limits unless the assets fall within the short list of “noncountable” assets. These include:
||personal possessions, such as clothing, furniture, and jewelry;
|| one motor vehicle, valued up to $4,500 for unmarried recipients and of any value for the healthy (community) spouse;
||the applicant’s principal residence, provided it is in the same state in which the individual is applying for coverage. States vary in whether the Medi-Cal applicant must prove a reasonable likelihood of being able to return home; in Indiana one must show a capability and intent to return home.
||prepaid funeral plans and a small amount of life insurance; and
||assets that are considered “inaccessible” for one reason or another.