There is no such thing as a Medi-Cal-friendly annuity. The balance of an annuity is considered unavailable as long as the owner receives equal monthly payments for a number of years, less than or equal to life expectancy (based upon life expectancy tables designated by Health Care Financing Administration for this purpose). The final payment may be smaller to exhaust the annuity. If payments are not equal and monthly, the cash surrender value is counted. If payments extend beyond life
expectancy, a period of ineligibility for nursing facility level of care may result. Some annuities pay very small amounts, with a balloon payment at the end. These annuities, even though set up to exhaust within life expectancy, are not annuitized in accordance with DHS rules. The cash surrender value is counted in determining eligibility. In many cases, these annuities are irrevocable and do not have a cash value and there is nothing to count. Individuals who purchase this type of annuity lose financial control while cashing in their life insurance policies, stocks, bonds, etc. Many times they have to pay heavy capital gains taxes and surrender penalties in the process.