SOURCE: Southern California Legal Center, Inc.

September 18, 2006 19:26 ET

Southern California Legal Center, Inc. Can Minimize Financial Devastation of a Catastrophic Health Care Event Using Medi-Cal

VALLEY CENTER, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 18, 2006 -- What does a family do if met with a catastrophic illness crises when the costs for long term care range from $5,000 to 35,000 per month? Unfortunately many families are under the misconception that Medicare, HMOs, or supplemental insurance will pay for this custodial long term care. "There is a general sense of shock when I tell a family that benefits have expired and they now have to pay out of their savings," says Stuart Furman, Esq. of the Southern California Legal Center, Inc. But, he states, "There are legal and creative solutions, using the Medi-Cal program, to minimizing the financial devastation of these catastrophic events if proper legal advice is obtained."

Another misconception is that Medi-Cal planning is just for the indigent and all assets must be "spent-down" to qualify. Mr. Furman indicates, "The Medi-Cal program is an entitlement which has been paid for by client's tax money. It is a matter of complying with the complex and confusing rules; but people with assets can qualify if they know how to do so."

Mr. Furman, an estate planning attorney with an emphasis on Medi-Cal planning, is also adamant about preparation of legal documentation in advance. "Simply," he states, "you can't buy fire insurance when your house is already on fire, so proper documentation must be prepared when the individuals are mentally competent, and have certain language to be implemented in case of a catastrophic health care event." Legal documentation includes such items as living trusts, durable powers of attorney, medical advance directives, HIPAA releases, and the like.

Finally, he states, "Medi-Cal and estate planning is a legal service to be provided by a competent attorney. There are just too many people out there that call themselves 'estate and Medi-Cal planners' and they just don't have the requisite background to properly advise people on the topic."

Stuart Furman, Esq., is the owner of the Southern California Legal Center, Inc., and practices law in Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange and San Diego Counties. His toll free office number is 877-820-3335. You can e-mail him at furman@starband.net.

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