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  •  Another advantage to the expanded Medicaid (6+ / 0-)

    I found out last week by calling the Covered California customer service number.

    It doesn't look like I'll make enough $$ this year to qualify for the exchange, but I have assets. I thought that would disqualify me for MediCal too, and wondered if I'd be allowed on the exchanges because the rules say that if you don't qualify for any other government coverage, you're eligible for the exchanges.

    Hah! Turns out that after Jan 1st, there will be no assets test for MediCal, and therefore, I presume, Medicaid (MediCal is just what California calls it).

    I am presuming that means that all those seniors who have had to impoverish themselves to get their spouse into long-term care won't have to do that anymore. They get to keep their assets.

    BTW, the Covered California customer service representative answered my call right away and was extremely nice.

    I haven't heard this no-assets test being publicized at all. It's going to make a huge difference to many seniors.

    Enjoy the San Diego Zoo's panda cam! Now with new baby panda! And support Bat World Sanctuary

    by Fonsia on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 04:48:15 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I had a great experince with Covered California (0+ / 0-)

      yesterday using the live chat line.

      My question was about the tax credits. I'm eligible for the Silver Plan, which costs $450 a month (less than I'm paying now for a WAY higher deductible and out of pocket cap) after tax credits. It's about $1100 before tax credits.

      So I was worried because there's no way I can pay that every month and wait a year to get it back in a tax refund.

      But no, they explained you get the tax credits right away, every month. Or, if you like, you can choose to take it all at the end of the year.

      This is a good deal.

      Oh, I used to be disgusted
      Now I try to be amused
      ~~ Elvis Costello

      by smileycreek on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 07:56:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  assets test still applies for seniors (0+ / 0-)

      Glad you found this out and had a good experience with the covered California call center!  There's a lot of fretting about how this rollout is going to go!

      Unfortunately if you are over 65 there will still be an assets test for Medi-Cal.  The no assets test is only for those under 65. There's some information here: http://healthconsumer.org/... but it's a little outdated.

      Basically, there will be no assets test for those who are being evaluated under the new modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) rubric and folks who are 65 and over wont be evaluated under this rubric.  To get medi-cal these folks will have to qualify under the old medi-cal rules, which have the asset test.  This is going to lead to the strange occurence of 64 year olds who have medi-cal turning 65 and losing it unless they spend down assets.  Most folks 65 and older also wont qualify for the exchange because they qualify for Medicare, which makes a person I eligible for the exchange.

      If you read the above link, you'll see that it says disability-based medi-cal will also retain the assets test.  This is true but a disabled non-senior will still qualify for MAGI medi-cal, meaning that assets may disqualify the person from one of the disability-based programs but will not disqualify them from the regular medi-cal program.  The disability-based programs will still help some folks get on medi-cal because their income and household composition rules are more generous than the MAGI rules.

      All and all, though, the medi-cal expansion will be a tremendous improvement over what we have now and give access to over 1 million Californians!

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