It may be that time in your life where you are planning to retire or you may be thinking about long-term care options and planning for your parents, who are reaching the age where long-term care may be an option. If so, now is the time to get a good understanding of Medicaid and how this public benefit might protect your assets for future generations. Monet Binder Law, P.C., is here to help.
Medicaid, unlike Medicare, is a means tested program, which provides payment for medical coverage for people with low or no incomes and with few assets. Contrary to popular belief, Medicare does not pay for long-term care. However, Medicaid may pay for all of someone’s long-term care in a nursing home or for home health services, if medical and financial eligibility requirements have been met.
Will You Be Able to Qualify for Medicaid? Medicaid can be the key to preserving your or your parent’s assets, if nursing home care is needed. The problem arises when seniors have paid off the mortgages on their properties and saved money. Assets, seniors own, could disqualify them, from receiving Medicaid, until they have spent those assets on long-term care. Fortunately, advanced Medicaid planning provides a legal strategy, which allows seniors to keep and pass on their assets.
Many Seniors will end of needing long-term care. According to the Federal Department of Health and Human Services, “…Most Americans underestimate the risk of developing a disability and needing long-term services and supports (LTSS). …we estimate that about half (52%) of Americans turning 65 today will develop a disability serious enough to require LTSS…”
Studies show, in our downstate region of New York State, nursing home care costs exceed $140,000 per year. If a senior pays for this care privately, it is easy to see how quickly retirement savings and other assets could be depleted.
Monet Binder Law, P.C. Can Help You Qualify for Medicaid Benefits to Cover These Ongoing Expenses. We can help you do advanced Medicaid Planning by strategically transferring money and property into a legal Trust, where the Trust becomes the legal owner of the assets and the senior can still benefit from the Trust. But (there is always a but), these transfers must be done at least five years before applying for Medicaid coverage, because Medicaid has a five year “look back period”. The five-year “look back period” means any transactions where assets were given away or sold, for less than their value, within five years of trying to get Medicaid nursing home coverage, could result in a delay in eligibility for benefits.
It is important to start Medicaid planning when you or your parents have assets to protect, but are still too young to need nursing home care. Creating a plan when you are younger, or your parents are more than five years away from needing nursing home care, gives you time to make transfers early, so you can pass the five year “look back period”.
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