Medi-Cal Exempt Assets

The following property is generally exempt and therefore, not counted in determining Long Term Care Medi-Cal eligibility:

  • SINGLE PERSON or PERSON APPLYING FOR MEDI-CAL can have up to $2,000 in their name in a cash reserve, e.g. in savings, checking, etc., as the Medi-Cal applicant.
  • AT HOME OR COMMUNITY SPO– USE; the spouse at home can keep the first $195,000.00 in assets (Community Spouse Resource Allowance). The spouse at home can manage the $2,000 allowed for the applicant spouse; therefore, a couple can have $195,000.00 in total liquid assets and still be eligible for Medi-Cal benefits for the applicant.
  • The home: totally excluded, if it is the principal residence. The applicant must state an “intent to return to the home.” Includes mobile home, houseboat, or an entire multi-unit dwelling as long as any portion serves as the principal residence of the applicant.
  • Other real property: may be excluded if it is used in whole or in part as a business or means of self-support (you should see an attorney if you have other real property).
  • Household goods and personal effects: totally exempt.
  • Jewelry: for a single person, wedding, engagement rings and heirlooms, and items of jewelry with a net market value of $100 or less are totally exempt; for spouses; there is no limit on exempt jewelry for determining the institutionalized spouse’s eligibility.
  • One car is generally exempt if used for the benefit of the applicant/beneficiary or if needed for medical reasons.
  • Whole life insurance policies with a total face value (also called “combined death benefit”) of $1,500 or less.
  • Term life insurance: totally excluded.
  • Burial plots: totally excluded, includes headstone, crypts, etc.
  • Prepaid irrevocable burial plan of any amount and $1,500 in designated burial funds. These designated funds must be kept separate from all other accounts.
  • Cash surrender value or balance of pension funds, IRAs and certain types of annuities.