Medicaid and Medicare are both federal health insurance programs, but there are important differences.
While Medicare provides health insurance for people age 65 or older and the disabled of all ages, it does not pay for extended care in a Nursing Home or other long-term care (such as “in-home” care). Current 2017 estimates for yearly nursing home care in Staten Island are as high as $14,000.00 per MONTH. Luckily, in many circumstances these costs can be covered by Medicaid, but in order to qualify, a person’s income and assets must fall below a certain level. Even if you are a very wealthy individual, there are likely some asset protection strategies that may be available to you so that you can preserve your wealth while receiving the care that you need.
In general, Medicaid covers Doctor visits, Hospital care Long-term care either in your home or a Nursing Home, Medications and Medical Supplies. The key however is getting approved for the benefits. That is where a skilled Medicaid Asset Protection Attorney can be an important ally. There are complex eligibility rules that need to be navigated, and one misstep can mean the difference between eligibility and non-eligibility, or in layman’s terms, tens of thousands of dollars.
If assets are too high, a patient may have to enter a nursing home on a private payment basis and “spend down” to the Medicaid eligibility level before receiving coverage. Although the individual’s home is excluded from the assets calculations, Medicaid can bill the estate for care after the patient passes away. In practice what happens is that Medicaid will put a lien against the house which needs to be repaid upon the death of the Medicaid Recipient. In this regards, some planning BEFORE the need for Medicaid benefits is present can help keep your hard earned assets in your family.
The biggest element of confusion among my clients takes place when we discuss the Medicaid “look-back” period, during which certain gifts affect eligibility, preventing a person from simply giving his or her property to his or her children right before entering a nursing home. These rules are again very complex and need to be handled by someone with a keen understanding of how the process works.
We can prepare and submit your Medicaid application and represent you before the local Medicaid agency if necessary. You can approach the application process confidently, knowing that you have the best available information, preparation and support from our team. We can also implement Medicaid-related documents, including a Durable Power of Attorney, trusts and wills to help you create one complete plan for your future and the future of your loved ones.
Medicaid Planning Service – Medicaid Planning Attorney Staten Island, NY
Medicaid is a government-funded healthcare program that offers healthcare coverage for low-income individuals and families, seniors, and people with disabilities who qualify. Medicaid planning services ensure you or your loved ones receive all required benefits while safeguarding assets for future generations. This article will cover the importance of Medicaid planning services, the strategies involved, and how to choose an ideal representative to assist in the process.
The Importance of Medicaid Planning Services
Medicaid planning services are essential for many reasons, including:
- Helping individuals and families qualify for Medicaid benefits while protecting their assets.
- Guaranteeing that seniors can access long-term care services, like home health aides, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, without exhausting their life savings.
- Reducing the effect of estate recovery, the process by which the government recovers costs associated with Medicaid after the death of recipients, by taking steps to mitigate its impact.
- Bringing yourself and your loved ones peace of mind knowing that the necessary care will be provided without jeopardizing financial security.
Critical Strategies in Medicaid Planning
Medicaid planning entails various strategies to assist individuals and families in qualifying for benefits while protecting their assets. Some of the more popular ones include:
- Asset Transfers: Transferring assets to a spouse, certain family members, or a Medicaid Asset Protection (Irrevocable) trust can help reduce an individual’s countable assets, making it easier to qualify for Medicaid.
- Irrevocable Trusts: These trusts can protect assets from being counted as available resources for Medicaid eligibility purposes while still providing income for the trust’s beneficiaries.
- Annuities: Certain types of annuities can convert countable assets into a stream of income, helping individuals meet Medicaid’s income and asset requirements.
- Long-Term Care Insurance: By investing in long-term care insurance, individuals can help cover the costs associated with long-term care services and reduce reliance on Medicaid assistance.
- Spousal Protections: Various spousal protection rules allow the healthy spouse to retain a portion of the couple’s assets and income without affecting the other spouse’s Medicaid eligibility.
Selecting the Right Medicaid Planning Representative
When choosing a Medicaid planning representative, it’s essential to consider factors such as experience, reputation, and communication style. Look for professionals who:
- Have a strong track record and expertise in Medicaid planning and related areas, such as elder law and estate planning.
- Is familiar With local Medicaid eligibility and asset protection laws & regulations, Medicaid eligibility and asset protection in your jurisdiction.
- Can effectively communicate complex information and are responsive to your questions and concerns.
- Have a solid network of industry connections, such as financial planners, insurance agents, and healthcare providers.
Selecting an effective Medicaid planning service provider can help ensure a more streamlined and successful planning process.
Medicaid planning services are vital in helping individuals and families secure their financial future while taking advantage of essential healthcare benefits. Working with an experienced professional, you can devise a comprehensive Medicaid strategy that ensures you and your loved ones get care and support without jeopardizing assets.