Medicaid Planning

One of the greatest fears of older Americans is that they may end up in a nursing home. This means a tremendous financial price. Careful planning, whether in advance or once a person is in a nursing home, can help protect your estate, whether for your spouse or your children. This can be done by purchasing long-term care insurance or by making sure you receive the benefits you are entitled to under the Medicare and Medicaid programs, or through the Veterans Administration.

MEDICAID PLANNING MYTH #1
You have to give all of you assets away or wait until you are impoverished in order to qualify for medicaid.

There are many strategies that can be used to legally restructure your assets say you do not have to spend down your life savings and you can still qualify for Medicaid

Medicaid is a joint Federal State program providing medical assistance to various low income individuals over 65 years of age, as well as those who are blind, or disabled in any way. Medicaid is the single largest payer of nursing home bills in America. It is the last resort for people who have no other way to finance their long-term care. All the Medicaid eligibility rules vary from state to state, Federal minimum standards and guidelines must be observed.

In addition to meeting your state’s medical and financial criteria for nursing Home Care your assets and monthly income must each fall below certain criteria levels to qualify for Medicaid. However, several assets, which may include your family’s home, in a certain amount of income may be exempt or not counted.

MEDICAID PLANNING MYTH #2
Once you are in a nursing home, it is too late to start Medicaid Planning.

The best time to plan is when you’re still healthy. But in those cases were planning was not done and the person is about to enter or is already in a nursing home, assets can still be protected. There are strategies that we can use to help you qualify for Medicaid in a short time frame.

Social workers at the nursing home can be a great resource to assist people in simple situations where an individual doesn’t have assets to preserve. They know about the Medicaid program, but may not know the particular rule that applies in your case, or the newest changes in the law. If you need to shelter assets to care for the spouse it is not in the nursing home, or to pass on two other family members, then it is best to consult with an experienced Medicaid planning attorney.

MEDICAID PLANNING MYTH #3
If you put all your money in your spouse’s name, or a jointly held account, you will be eligible for Medicaid.

Assets of both the spouse in the applicant are counted in determining financial eligibility. However, there are strategies that can be used for married couples to allow the applicant to qualify almost immediately.

When it comes to knowing the strategies, it is best to consult with the qualified professional you can advise you on the entire situation. There are many planning options to consider: the use of trusts, transfers of assets, purchase of annuities, or increased income and resource allowances for the healthy spouse. What you learn could mean better care for you or your loved one as well as significant financial savings.