How the SB833 Legislation Impacts Seniors in California

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The Impact of the SB833 Legislation on the Elderly in California

By Glenn Krakow, 9:00 am on

California Governor Jerry Brown signed the SB833 Legislation into law in 2016. This legislation reforms the Medi-Cal program, California’s version of Medicaid. Thanks to this law, seniors and their assets are better protected. 

Seniors and their families should inform themselves about the implications of the SB833. If you are family caregiver who needs assistance while caring for a senior loved one, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. El Dorado County, CA, respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities.

The Two Components of Medi-Cal

There are two primary legislative components of Medi-Cal. There is the issue of eligibility, which affects who can receive Medi-Cal benefits. There is also the issue of recovery, which covers the government’s right to receive reimbursement for Medi-Cal costs. These reimbursements are most commonly obtained via Medi-Cal Liens on the assets of a deceased person. 

Medi-Cal Recovery Through the Years

Over the years, California laws governing what assets are exempt from Medi-Cal recovery have shifted. In the 1980s, a standard revocable living trust was exempt. However, in the 1990s California signed legislation that expanded the types of estates that qualified for recovery. When the new legislation went into effect, the state was allowed to recover a wider range of assets, including life estate-remainders, living trusts, and joint tenancies. This caused a great deal of confusion among California seniors, who were often unsure whether their assets would be recovered under these laws. 

New Legislation

The SB833 Legislation seeks to simplify the Medi-Cal recovery process, making it easier for California seniors to plan for every estate-related eventuality. Essentially, fewer assets are subject to Medi-Cal recovery under this new law. It has a number of benefits, not limited to protecting seniors from harsh recovery statutes. 

For example, the law seeks to protect the estates of seniors in nursing homes. It also protects the retirement and life insurance plans that are paid to heirs, making sure they are not recoverable by Medi-Cal. Under SB833, California can’t charge an excessive amount of interest via lien, and it also allows for small estate affidavits to be transferred to heirs. 

Estate Planning in California

While this new law makes estate planning easier for California seniors, they should still make a concerted effort to start planning as early as possible. SB833 makes estate planning an important consideration even for seniors who have minimal assets. 

Under the new law, the government can still recover resources in probate, which is the public process through which courts transfer assets to heirs. Assets like annuities, life insurance, and joint tenancy assets that are transferred through the probate process may be subject to Medi-Cal recovery. This is why seniors should plan early so their estates are protected from recovery attempts by the government. 

Finding an Elder Care Attorney

Seniors in California should find a reputable elder care attorney to guarantee the effective transfer of their assets. During the estate planning process, attorneys can take measures to minimize taxes, avoid probate, and reduce the chances for recovery. There are many legal considerations that go into California estate planning, and hiring an attorney is one of the best decisions a senior can make. 

If your loved one lives in California, but you don’t, search online for an attorney for estate planning. Living alone at home in the golden years can present a few unique challenges. Trust in El Dorado County home care professionals to help your senior loved one maintain a higher quality of life while he or she manages an illness and performs the daily tasks of living.

Some seniors have serious medical conditions like dementia, which requires the help of a professional caregiver. For dementia home care El Dorado County, CA, families can count on Home Care Assistance. Our compassionate caregivers use revolutionary memory care programs to help seniors stave off the progression of dementia, and they can also assist with a wide variety of important everyday tasks, including bathing, grooming, exercise, and cooking. Call (916) 358-3801 or (530) 409-4411 and speak with a friendly Care Manager to learn more about our senior care plans