by Paul Lorrah
If an elderly relative needs to qualify for Medicaid in order to pay for long-term care costs, including at an assisted living facility or nursing home, where do you start?
We first have to determine if the individual is currently eligible for Medicaid benefits and if not, what needs to be done in order for them to be eligible.
Eligibility is determined by 3 categories;
- assets and
- medical needs
Additionally we have to look at the individuals marital status to determine if assets and income need to be preserved for the spouse.
Asset and income preservation strategies for the spouse in imperative to ensure that they can sustain their current lifestyle and have funds for their future needs.
Asset preservation is available for single individuals as well to;
- ensure that their wishes for family members to receive a portion of their assets when they pass,
- preserve funds for their future use once on Medicaid
Medicaid eligibility figures differ by state and for single or married individuals.
In Delaware and New Jersey a single person can have no more than $2,000 to be eligible. In Maryland it's $2,400 and in PA. it's up to $8,000 [depending on income].
Note, if a single individual has more than that, it does not mean they cannot apply for Medicaid. it just means they have to go through a Medicaid planning and asset protection strategy process to get to the eligibility levels needed.
Married applicants can retain more, the amount is determined by their total assets owned by both spouses.
Additionally, some states have a cap on the amount of Gross income a person can have. If their income is too high they're not eligible for Medicaid benefits and must utilize a Qualified Income Trust to pass their income through.
Medicaid has a 5 year look back period for all financial transactions. That means when a person applies Medicaid will require a record of 5 years of all financial transactions to determine if you have given any money to other individuals. If so, this may disqualify a person from benefits. Have no fear if you have, there are strategies available that may "fix" many of these issues if you have.
Once approved, the individual's assets must remain below $2,000 for their lifetime and if a Qualified Income Trust is required, this must be properly maintained each month as well.
As you can see, Medicaid has many layers, the one's mentioned above are only a few. The process is lengthy, time consuming and 93% of all individuals who apply without a skilled Medicaid expert as their advocate get denied.
If you have a loved one that you feel will need long term care such as nursing home or assisted living within the next 5-10 years, please contact us as soon as you can to begin the planning process.
The sooner you plan, the more options you will have.
If you have a loved one that will need long term care now or within the next 6 months - call us now!!
It's imperative that you get the answers and help that you need.
Our office has helped thousands of families with the Medicaid process, we will get the results you need.
Call today! 855.471.6771 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org