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:
- What level of care might you need in the future.
- 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:
- 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.
- Marriage after age 50.
- Entering into a prenuptial agreement.
- Marriage where one spouse is significantly older than the other.
- 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!