Clients are often worried that the State will take their home if they receive Medi-Cal benefits. The personal residence is typically an exempt asset, meaning that it is not counted when determining eligibility for Medi-Cal benefits, and an individual will not be required to sell or give-up their residence to qualify for Medi-Cal. However, if an individual receives Medi-Cal benefits during their lifetime, Medi-Cal can (and will) make a claim against the individual's estate, including the home, upon their death.
On Monday, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill limiting the assets that Medi-Cal may seize following an individual's death - San Jose Mercury News - Governor Brown Signs Bill Limiting Seizure of Assets of Medi-Cal recipients.
Beginning January 1, 2017, California will join many other states in the country that only recover the costs of enrollees' long-term care and related costs after they die. The new law will prohibit recovery from the estate of a deceased Medi-Cal member who is survived by a spouse or registered domestic partner and will also prohibit estate recovery if a home is of "modest value" -- having a fair market value of 50% or less of the average price of homes in the county where it's located.