When it comes to planning for financial security and achieving a secure future, Medicaid planning is one of the most important steps you can take… and it is also a step that far too few people know about. Most people do not fully understand Medicaid or why eligibility for Medicaid matters so much. Unfortunately, if you do not talk with an elder law and find out about Medicaid planning, you could end up losing your life savings and be left with no ability to leave a legacy.
Nehoray and Drake, LLP can help to make sure you do not put your financial security or your family’s financial stability at risk because of a failure to make a Medicaid plan. We explain when and why you need a plan and how it should fit into your estate planning process. Our legal team can also assist you in using the legal tools you need to make a Medicaid plan. Give us a call today for personalized advice on Medicaid planning and to get answers to questions including:
- What is Medicaid planning?
- When do I need to make a Medicaid plan?
- How can a Medicaid planning lawyer help me?
What is Medicaid Planning?
Medicaid planning is a process that is vital to ensuring you can get Medicaid coverage. Medicaid is supposed to provide low-income health care insurance for people who cannot afford private pay.
However, Medicaid also does something of vital importance. It pays for nursing home care. Nursing home care isn’t paid for by Medicare or private insurance in most situations. These types of policies cover nursing home care costs only for a limited duration of time when skilled medical services are being received. Otherwise, private pay or Medicaid are typically the only two choices for covering nursing home care costs.
The need for Medicaid to pay for nursing home care is obvious, because if you are forced to spend your own money to cover these costs, your entire life savings will be gone quickly. The problem is, Medicaid is means-tested and having too many resources can disqualify you from being covered by Medicaid.
You cannot afford to lose everything you have worked for, as you will be left with no legacy for your loved ones. You want to protect your wealth and be able to leave your assets to your family, so you must make a keep your assets safe while getting Medicaid to cover you. If you do not make this plan and you need nursing home care, you are going to have to pay on your own until you’ve spent enough of your wealth that you no longer have too many resources to qualify for Medicaid. Only then, when your savings is gone, will Medicaid pick up the bill.
Don’t put yourself in a situation where your assets must be spent down just to get Medicaid coverage. Make a Medicaid planning using appropriate legal tools, including irrevocable trusts, so you are eligible right away for Medicaid coverage when you need it.
When Do I Need to Make a Medicaid Plan?
The Medicaid planning process involves the strategic transfer of assets which you are hoping to protect from being lost. Medicaid, however, does not want to provide coverage to people who have transferred assets. Medicaid wants you to spend your savings before this program that you contributed to over your whole working life will actually kick in to pay for the care you need. To try to force you to spend down assets, Medicaid has something called the five year lookback rule.
The five year lookback rule involves a look back at transfers you’ve entered into over the prior five years. If transfers occurred, you are disqualified for a set number of months. The months of disqualification are determined by dividing the value of the assets transferred by the average monthly nursing home costs where you are located. You will not be able to get Medicaid to pay for your nursing home care during the months of disqualification.
This problem can be avoided simply by acting early, well before you need care, so your transfers occur outside of the five year window and you can get covered.
How Can a Medicaid Planning Lawyer Help?
Nehoray and Drake, LLP can provide comprehensive help in determining if you need a Medicaid plan because Medicaid eligibility will be impacted by your assets. If a plan must be put into place in order for you to protect your wealth and get care costs covered, our legal team can take care of the technicalities for you. Give us a call today to speak with a Medicaid planning lawyer and find out more.