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Plan Early for Medicaid Eligibility

Posted on : March 17, 2018, By:  George Dillon

Roughly 68% of people over the age of 65 right now will need some type of long-term care. Whether they use in-home care or move to a nursing home, the bills will be high, and many people will need help from programs like Medicaid. But not everyone can get Medicaid. It’s not too early to start planning to meet Medicaid eligibility guidelines.

A Little About Medicaid

Medicaid provides coverage for medical care for some of our most vulnerable citizens. Assistance is offered to older adults, disabled individuals, pregnant women, and children in low income households. We’ll just be looking at Medicaid coverage for long-term or nursing home care.

Primarily funded by the federal government, Medicaid is managed at the state level. Coverage and eligibility requirements vary from state to state. Typically, though, states base Medicaid eligibility on income and asset limits.

Why Plan Early for Something That May Not Happen?

By planning early for Medicaid, you may be able to protect the inheritance you plan to leave your family.

To qualify for Medicaid that covers long-term care, applicants must:

  • Have a monthly income less than 300% of the Supplemental Security Income amount for an individual. In 2017, the amount was $2,205. Some people who are found eligible may have to contribute a “patient pay” amount determined by Medicaid.
  • Own $2,000 in cash/non-exempt assets (for a single person).

Advanced planning, preferably while you’re doing your estate planning, can make a big difference on whether you qualify for Medicaid and how much money will be left for your loved ones.

The Look Back Period.

If your income or resources disqualify you, there are things you can do. For example, you can transfer assets to get below the resource limit, but there’s a catch:

The 5-year look back period.

If any assets are transferred within 60 months prior to the application date, the applicant will likely be considered ineligible to receive Medicaid benefits.

That’s why planning has to be done well before an application is submitted.

We have no way of telling when – or if – we will need long-term nursing care. Start thinking about it now, no matter your age. Make sure to discuss Medicaid eligibility planning with a qualified Virginia lawyer.

Learn More About Medicaid Eligibility.

Contact the attorneys at the Dillon Law Group, PLC with your concerns. We give our clients the personalized attention they deserve. Call us at 757-962-4796 to schedule an appointment or use our Contact Form to let us know you’re interested. We assist clients in Virginia Beach, Newport News, and surrounding areas.

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