Elder Law Attorneys

Medicaid Planning

Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that pays long-term care expenses for individuals who qualify. There are several benchmark tests that an individual must pass in order to qualify for help with long-term care costs through Medicaid.

In order to qualify for benefits, an individual is only allowed limited income and resources. As a result, you may need to reduce your estate, or “spend down”. This is a decision that will have lasting effects and must be analyzed carefully.

Do I Need Medicaid Planning?

Two primary concerns regarding whether Medicaid Planning is appropriate for you are:

  1. What level of care might you need in the future.
  2. If a high level of care is required, how the cost of your care would financially affect your spouse.

Many factors are considered when determining if Medicaid planning is appropriate, such as: total estate value, income sources, available resources, and exempt assets.  Additionally, there are certain milestones that may serve as indicators of when to turn to Medicaid planning:

Medical Milestones

  • Diagnosis triggering immediate eligibility for long-term care.
  • Diagnosis likely to eventually trigger a need for long-term care.
  • Turning 60 if your net worth is low to moderate or your joint future income is likely to be lower than approximately $3,500 per month.

Relationship Milestones

  • Marriage after age 50.
  • Entering into a prenuptial agreement.
  • Marriage where one spouse is significantly older than the other.

Financial Milestones

  • Planning for distribution of retirement assets or receipt of pensions.
  • Applying for Veterans Administration pensions or public benefits.
  • Making major gifts or charitable donations.
  • Significantly restructuring assets (e.g. liquidating personal residence).
  • Receiving an inheritance.

Please contact our office for more information on Medicaid planning and if it is right for you and your family.  We offer complimentary Medicaid Planning consultations!