Susan B Geffen

- Elder Law Attorney
- Gerontologist, Master's USC
- Former Elder Law Professor

 

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I would recommend Susan Geffen to anyone seeking guidance on elder care and law/financial issues. I told Susan when we first met that my father was....
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Medi-Cal Planning & Asset Protection
There are two distinct programs within Medi-Cal:

The first program is the "Medical" Benefit, which acts as a health insurance benefit. The asset qualification depends on single or married status.

The second program is the "Long Term Care" entitlement which will cover medical expenses but also help with Skilled Nursing Facility expenses and Hospice in most cases.

If both spouse's are in a Nursing Home, their joint assets cannot exceed $2000 per month excluding a home, car and burial policies as described above.

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Commonly Asked Questions:

How can I obtain Medi-Cal benefits when I have too many assets?

What Is Spend Down?

Why are more people not qualifying for Medi-Cal benefits if it is as simple as you suggest?
Is this legal?


Do you only have to apply for Medi-Cal once?

How long does it take to quality for Medi-Cal benefits?

Can I qualify for Medi-Cal even if I am under 65 years old?

How do you apply for Medi-Cal benefits?

What is the most common reason people are denied Medi-Cal benefits?

What does the "30-month look back" period mean?

 
Medi-Cal Asset Protection

Medi-Cal asset protection generally takes one of two forms:

Crisis planning: This applies when you or a loved one has already been admitted to a nursing home or is about to be admitted.

I have a quick response system in place for crisis Medi-Cal planning, and can help you get answers quickly.

I can often tell you within hours, not days, whether I can save you money. If you have a medical emergency that qualifies you for Medi-Cal, I can help you take immediate steps to protect your assets, while remaining eligible for benefits.

Five-year planning: This entails planning ahead to make sure you will be eligible for Medi-Cal while still protecting your assets for your spouse or children.

The bottom line is that you don't have to go broke from in home or nursing home care. The law allows people to keep their homes and much of their money- if they know how, but it is critical to have the assistance of an expert like me who knows how to do it.

 
How can I obtain Medi-Cal benefits when I have too many assets?

Many laws exist in the Medi-Cal Code of Regulations. There are a variety of allowances and exceptions that enable your money to be rearranged or transferred in a way that lets individuals qualify when previously they did not.

What Is Spend Down?

Many people have often heard the term "spend down" when referring to qualifying for Medi-Cal benefits. They are even told that they must spend their money until they are destitute to qualify. This need not be the case. "Spend down" is a technical term used by the government to change your financial status in order to qualify. However, in no way should a person have to "spend down" their hard earned assets if there is another way to utilize an entitlement our older generation has been funding with their tax dollars all these years.

Rather, certain Medi-Cal regulations allow re-titling or transferring assets which will ultimately acheive the required resource eligibility. This process is then fully disclosed to the Medi-Cal Eligibility Worker upon application, according to the Medi-Cal laws and regulations.

Why are more people not qualifying for Medi-Cal benefits if it is as simple as you suggest?

Medi-Cal is a web of exceptions and details. Most professionals do not take the time to become experts in this field.

Qualifying is not 'simple'; however, Susan has worked with and studied Medi-Cal long enough to understand the "ins and outs" of the system.

How do you do it?

Susan uses the Medi-Cal policies, regulations and allowances to your advantage just like you do when filling out your tax return.

She adheres strictly to all Medi-Cal laws and discloses all information to the Department of Health and Human Services according to their guidelines.

How long does it take to quality for Medi-Cal benefits?

This depends on how many assets you have and the complexity of your financial status.

What does the "30-month look back" period mean?

The "30-month look back" period refers to the disclosure of all financial transactions and/or changes, pertaining to the Medi-Cal applicant at the time of initial application.

This period of ineligibility would potentially preclude a Medi-Cal long term care applicant from qualification for this benefit.

However, on average, it takes about one month from our initial meeting to the point of your financial assets to be within the "resource guideline" for Medi-Cal benefits.

Once the Medi-Cal application and supporting documents has been submitted to the county, it can take anywhere from one to four months for the county to approve your case. Therefore, in most cases, the total process can take six months.

What is the most common reason people are denied Medi-Cal benefits?

There are many reasons people are denied Medi-Cal benefits. The unfortunate thing is that the most prevalent reasons people are denied benefits are completely avoidable.

These include errors in filling out the Medi-Cal application, improper documentation of assets and appearing to have too many assets when in reality it is the allocation of those assets that is the problem.

 
 
 
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