Adult man thinkingMedicaid is a federal program that provides healthcare benefits to those who cannot afford them. Many people who end up requiring long-term care can pay for it out of their own their own assets, at least initially.  However, because long-term care expenses can be so astronomical, many people end up applying for Medicaid benefits after their own assets have been depleted.

The Medicaid program can help with paying for home care, assisted living, and nursing home care, explains Insurance News Net’s recent article, “Medicaid planning.”

It would be great if people would plan to qualify for Medicaid before they run become completely out of money, which would allow them to preserve some of their children’s inheritance.

For those who are thinking of transferring all of their assets to their children to qualify, the government has already thought of that. Depending on your state of residency, if you gift assets to your children, you must wait 60 months from the date of the gift before being eligible for Medicaid. However, there are legal strategies that a senior can use to become eligible for Medicaid sooner, while still maintaining ownership or control of valuable assets.

If you want to plan for your own long-term care expenses smartly, you should talk to an elder law or Medicaid planning attorney. These practitioners focus on helping people to plan to qualify for Medicaid benefits in advance of their assets becoming depleted.

For example, assets may be freely transferred between spouses to help gain eligibility for a spouse that needs care.  There are also categories of assets that are exempt for purposes of Medicaid eligibility. This includes a primary residence, rental property, certain IRAs, and most vehicles – again, depending on where you live.

It’s also important to remember that a person can enter into contracts with family members to provide care in exchange for a fee, without a 60-month look back.

With guidance and planning from qualified legal counsel, seniors who require long-term care can receive the healthcare they need while preserving assets for their family members.

Please contact an experienced Medicaid planning or elder law attorney for additional information.  Book a free call with our Eldercare Coordinator today.

Reference: Insurance News Net (September 29, 2019) “Medicaid planning”