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Elder Law

Elder Law

Elder law is a relatively new field that, rather than focusing on a particular substantive subject, focuses instead on a type of client: seniors. It combines elements of estate planning, conservatorship, health care planning, Medi-Cal and Medicare planning, and elder rights.

Many people first seek out an elder law attorney as they consider how to pay for long-term care.

Long-Term Care Options
Medicare (government health insurance available to those 65 and older) does not pay for long-term care in the home or in a nursing facility. While some seniors are able to afford private pay care, the cost of long-term care in a skilled nursing facility (aka a "nursing home") will wipe out savings of all but the wealthiest families in a matter of years. Those who have planned ahead by purchasing long-term care insurance have a lesser need to rely on other sources in the future. Unfortunately, many can’t afford the high cost of long-term care insurance or worse, because of their age or medical condition, cannot qualify for coverage at all. If you do have long-term care insurance, you should be aware of what your policy covers. Many policies have high deductibles or provide for only a short period of care in a facility. In fact, many who have long-term care insurance still have to resort to Medi-Cal to pay for their care.
 
Medi-Cal/Medicaid Eligibility
The other option to pay for a skilled nursing facility is through Medi-Cal (the name for Medicaid in California).  A joint federal-state program, Medi-Cal provides medical assistance to those who are 65 or older, disabled, or blind. 

Medi-Cal eligibility is determined by the amount of income and resources available to the applicant. Many people assume you have to be poor to qualify for Medi-Cal, but that is not true. With the right planning, many middle-class people can qualify, and avoid impoverishment. Medi-Cal Planning involves the purchasing, transferring, conversion and/or liquidating of assets to enable you or your loved one to qualify under Medi-Cal's two-prong test of income and resources.

Medi-Cal planning requires an understanding of regulations that involve "look-back" periods, income caps, transfer penalties, and waiting periods.
 
We can help you understand your options and make sense of the technical requirements imposed by Medi-Cal. 


Pacific Elder Law assists clients with all Elder Law matters including Long-term Care Planning, Medi-Cal Planning, Conservatorships, Estate Planning, Powers of Attorney, Wills, Trusts, Special Needs Planning and Elder Mediation. We are located in the San Francisco Bay Area and serve clients in Alameda County, San Francisco County, and Contra Costa County, including Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda, Emeryville, Piedmont, Hayward, San Francisco, El Cerrito, Richmond, Martinez, Hercules, Lafayette, Orinda and Walnut Creek.



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317 Washington Street, Suite 111, Oakland, CA 94607
| Phone: 510-852-9392
459 Fulton Street, Suite 208, San Francisco, CA 94102
| Phone: 415-552-0113

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