State of California—Health and
Department of Health Care Services
Human Services Agency
Real and Personal Property Exemptions
Many of your assets may already be exempt. Exempt means that the assets are not
counted when determining eligibility for Medi-Cal.
Real Property Exemptions
• One principal residence. One property used as a home is exempt. The home will
remain exempt in determining eligibility if the applicant intends to return home
• The home also continues to be exempt if the applicant’s spouse or dependent
relative continues to live in it.
• Money received from the sale of a home can be exempt for up to six months if
the money is going to be used for the purchase of another home.
• Real property used in a business or trade. Real estate used in a trade or
business is exempt regardless of its equity value and whether it produces
Personal Property and Other Exempt Assets
• IRAs, KEOGHs, and other work-related pension plans. These funds are exempt if
the family member whose name it is in does not want Medi-Cal. If held in the
name of a person who wants Medi-Cal, and payments of principal and interest
are being received, the balance is considered unavailable and is not counted. It
is not necessary to annuitize, convert to an annuity, or otherwise change the form
of the assets in order for them to be unavailable.
• Personal property used in a trade or business.
• One motor vehicle.
• Irrevocable burial trusts or irrevocable prepaid burialcontracts.
There may be other assets that may be exempt.
This is only a brief description of the Medi-Cal eligibility rules. For more detailed
information, you should call your county welfare department. Also, you are advised to
contact a legal services program for seniors or an attorney that is not connected with
the sale of this product.
Please note: If you seek Medi-Cal payment for nursing facility services, you may be
ineligible for those services if payments from your annuity extend beyond your life
expectancy based upon life expectancy tables adopted by the Department of Health
Care Services for this purpose. To find out about these tables, you may contact your
local county welfare department.
Finally, the Department of Health Care Services is currently refining its policy regarding
the treatment of annuities when determining eligibility for nursing facility services. Any
regulatory changes will only impact annuities that are purchased after the effective date
of any regulatory amendments.
Different rules apply to annuities that are qualified retirement arrangements established
pursuant to Title 26, Internal Revenue Code, Subtitle A, Chapter 1, Subchapter D, Part