We are an advocate for families as they go through this challenging time. Our purpose is to help your family understand Medicaid options and then access funding that can help pay for the care needed. We take families through the Medicaid Application process and help them maximize asset protection while following the stringent Medicaid eligibility rules.
Medicaid is a public program that pays for health care when you cannot afford it. It is often used for long-term care including nursing home stays, assisted living, and at-home care. Nearly two-thirds of all nursing home residents receive Medicaid. Each state has its own Medicaid program with its own specific rules, benefits, and eligibility requirements. While Medicaid is administered at the County level, all states are required to follow certain federal guidelines. Federal law mandates that Medicaid programs cover long-term care, hospital bills, prescriptions, lab fees, transportation to medical facilities, and more.
Both are government programs assisting people with their healthcare expenses, Medicare is specifically for those over age 65 (plus some younger people with disabilities), while Medicaid is based on financial need at any age. Some people are eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare. Receiving Medicare does not disqualify you from Medicaid.
Medicaid eligibility is very complex. When you apply for Medicaid, a Medicaid caseworker will determine your eligibility based on your income and your assets. The lower your income and assets, the easier it will be to qualify for Medicaid. Income is money you receive on an ongoing basis, such as wages from a job, a pension, Social Security benefits, etc. Assets can be anything that you own, however, all assets are not treated the same. Your county Medicaid caseworker will review your "countable assets" (for example, money in your savings account). Many assets (for example, your home, furniture, or car) is deemed "non-countable," and has no affect on your Medicaid application.Your caseworker will look not only at your current assets but also any assets you've transferred over the past 5 years (this is called the “look back period”). For example, if you gave a large sum of money to a relative 3 years ago, that "gift" would incur a "penalty period" – a number of months you must wait before receiving Medicaid after applying. The rationale being that you could have used those assets to pay for your medical care.There are many rules, exceptions, and evolving standards. When applying for Medicaid, professional advice from a Medicaid expert is strongly advised. This could include a Certified Medicaid Planner or Elder Law Attorney.
Medicaid was designed with low-income and impoverished Americans in mind. In theory, this means you would only be eligible for Medicaid when your income is low (approximately $2,000 per month or less) and you’ve spent your countable assets to the point that they are nearly exhausted ($2,000 in total for a single person). However, a Medicaid expert can create a strategy to help you and your family protect a large portion of assets and income while still becoming eligible for Medicaid. This is possible by employing a combination of effective, entirely legal tools designed to bring you within Medicaid requirements before you’ve spent your life savings on healthcare. These techniques include converting countable assets to non-countable, creating a Medicaid compliant annuity, using Half-A-Loaf strategy, protecting your home from estate recovery, and more. A Medicaid expert can explain these strategies in detail.
Most folks wait until all their assets are exhausted. The sooner you begin planning, the more your family will save. Contact us to discuss your options please.
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