Medicaid Planning 101
By Cristin Gerczak, Esq.
June 23, 2023
What is Medicaid?
Medicaid is a government program that assists in paying for medical and long-term care expenses for qualified individuals. It is a shared federal and state government program.
Medicaid is different from Medicare, which is a government insurance program. Typically, Medicaid provides benefits for a nursing home and other personal care services in-home, depending on the circumstances.
Who is eligible for Medicaid?
There are different classes of people who can benefit from Medicaid. These include seniors (65 years of age or older), individuals with disabilities, pregnant women, and children.
Each individual applying for Medicaid must meet certain criteria in order to be eligible and receive benefits. At Haimo Law, we help guide seniors and their loved ones who are seeking to qualify and apply for emergency benefits to assist with nursing home costs with Medicaid planning.
How can an individual qualify for Medicaid?
An individual applying for Medicaid can have a maximum of $2,000 in assets and can receive a maximum monthly income of $2,742 (as of 2023). Some assets are excluded from this $2,000 financial limitation, and some assets may be considered income.
It is important to examine all of your assets in order to know which are considered excluded, countable, or income. If the assets exceed these eligibility requirements, there are specific planning methods that can be put into place.
Where can Medicaid be applied?
Medicaid can be used to cover costs of nursing homes, provided the nursing home accepts Medicaid. Medicaid can also be used to assist with in-home care. The benefits received in a nursing home facility are greater than those received for in-home care.
When to engage in Medicaid Planning?
There are many complicated aspects to the application process of Medicaid. First, there is the process of financially qualifying for Medicaid. An experienced attorney can assist with the documents necessary to accomplish this if your assets or income exceed the limitations.
Once an individual qualifies for Medicaid, the next step is the application process. Every situation is different and the timing will be different as well.
If you think Medicaid will be needed, it is best to discuss with an attorney the best timing to engage in Medicaid Planning. There is no black and white standard here. Each situation is unique.
Why qualify and apply for Medicaid?
The cost of nursing homes is very expensive, sometimes exceeding $10,000 per month (and continuously rising). These costs can quickly reduce an individual’s assets that would be better used to provide for the extra needs and wants that Medicaid does not cover.
Medicaid can extend the length of time that an individual can use their assets to improve their quality of life in a nursing home. It also increases the probability of there being more assets remaining to leave to their family in the end.
Contact Haimo Law today to schedule a consultation. We can help guide you through the analysis of whether Medicaid is the right solution for you and your family. If so, we can help guide you through the process so you and your family can have peace of mind.