California’s low-income seniors are both eligible for both Medicare and MediCal. Governor Brown’s health reform estimates to reduce approximately a half-billion dollars from the state’s budget for healthcare by providing a single plan to coordinate patient services to provide more efficient and quick medical care for seniors. For instance, when an elderly patient is sick in a nursing home, a doctor will visit them instead of being transported to the hospital. Patients are also able to opt-out of this program to return to Medicare. The health reform is scheduled to commence after October 1, 2013 with a three-year demonstration program in counties, such as: Alameda, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Orange and Riverside (California Health Report).
This healthcare reform has the potential to put elderly patients at risk rather to eliminate some of the bureaucracy associated with MEDI-CAL and MEDICARE including services that do not meet its constituents needs. Medicare pays for doctor visit, prescription drugs and short-term hospitalizations using the old-fashion “fee-for-service” method. Hence, patients are responsible for managing their own care, as well as choosing and locating doctors and medication all paid by the federal government. On the other hand, Medical covers all deductibles, co-payments and long-term care (i.e. from nursing homes) that Medicare does not cover.
If the Medicare benefit is exhausted and the patient is still not sufficiently recovered, an experienced attorney can assist with the application procedure for Medi-Cal. If you or a loved one requires an extended stay in a hospital or nursing facility, contact The Evans Law Firm, firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-441-8669 for legal advice on how to best navigate the complex eligibility requirements and procedures of applying for Medicare, Medi-Cal or Veteran’s benefits.