What is Medicaid and Do I Need to Plan for it?
Medicaid is a need-based healthcare assistance program funded by federal and state dollars and administered by each state. Individuals and families can qualify for Medicaid at all ages. It is different from Medicare, which is a federal program for all adults over age 65 and many disabled people, regardless of income, that provides healthcare coverage.
Medicaid is most often discussed in estate planning as it relates to planning for long-term care or nursing home costs. Planning for Medicaid in order to preserve your assets for your family can be very difficult. This is primarily because Medicaid has a five year look-back rule, meaning any steps you take to protect your assets must be done five years before Medicaid assistance is needed.
While Medicaid planning is certainly something you should discuss with your attorney while preparing an estate plan, long term care insurance should also be considered as an alternative or in addition to Medicaid planning.
We Can’t Afford Nursing Home Care. Will Medicaid Take Everything?
Not necessarily. When a loved one can no longer live at home and you are unsure how you can pay for long-term care, it is time to consult with an attorney. While you may have to spend some of your assets to become eligible for Medicaid assistance, there are also many ways that assets can be preserved for the person needing care, their spouse, and sometimes even other family members. We call this type of planning Medicaid Crisis Planning. Qualifying for Medicaid can be a long and stressful process, but an experienced attorney can help make the process understandable and make sure your loved one received the care they need.
We do charge a small fee for a Medicaid Crisis Planning Consultation. However, during this consultation, we may be able to answer all of your questions about how to proceed. If further representation is needed, a retainer fee will be quoted for you at that time.