Medicaid planning incorporates legal tools and strategies into your estate plan to protect your assets and ensure that you will be eligible for Medicaid benefits if you need them in the future. It is among the most important estate planning components if you cannot afford to cover LTC costs out of pocket because it protects your hard-earned assets and provides you with peace of mind during your retirement years. … [Read more...] about How can Medicaid planning help me?
Fortunately, the Medicaid spousal impoverishment rules prevent this from happening. If you need to enter a LTC facility, an allowance is made for your “community spouse” when calculating your eligibility to ensure that he/she is not left without any income and/or resources. Your spouse may be able to keep both resources and part of your monthly income, depending on your assets and your spouse’s income. … [Read more...] about Will my spouse be left with nothing if I need to qualify for Medicaid?
There was a time when this was an option; however, Medicaid imposed a five-year “look-back” rule that now prevents an applicant from transferring assets in anticipation of the need to qualify for Medicaid. The look-back rule allows Medicaid to review your finances for the five-year period leading up to your application. Any transfers for less than market value will likely be discounted and the value of the assets imputed back into your estate and Medicaid will impose a waiting period. The length … [Read more...] about Can’t I just transfer assets to my adult children if I need to qualify for Medicaid?
If your assets do exceed the limit, Medicaid will deny your application. At that point, you will enter what people commonly refer to as the Medicaid “spend-down” requirement. In essence, you will need to “spend-down” your assets until the value of your non-exempt assets is below the program limit at which point Medicaid will approve your application and begin covering your healthcare expenses. … [Read more...] about What happens if my assets exceed the limit?
No. Some assets, such as a primary residence up to a certain equity limit, are exempt; however, it is very easy to exceed the asset limit if you failed to plan ahead. Each state decides what assets are exempt. Common examples of exempt assets include: Your primary residence Household goods and furnishings One vehicle Term life insurance Burial plot … [Read more...] about Are all my assets considered when determining my eligibility for Medicaid?
Each state develops its own eligibility requirements; however, they are similar from state to state. Aside from proving citizenship (or other legal status) and residency, the primary eligibility requirements for Medicaid involve demonstrating a need for benefits. To do that, you must have income and “countable resources” that do not exceed the program limits. For many seniors who did not anticipate the need to qualify for Medicaid, the countable resources (asset) limit presents a problem because … [Read more...] about What are the basic Medicaid eligibility requirements?
With each passing year, your odds of needing long-term care (LTC) increase noticeably. At retirement age (age 65) you already stand at least a 50 percent chance and by age 85 those odds will have increased to a 75 percent chance. As of 2016, the average monthly cost of LTC in the State of New Jersey was almost $11,000. With an average length of stay of three years, you could be facing a LTC bill of well over $300,000. Making matters worse is the fact that neither Medicare nor your basic health … [Read more...] about Why might I need to qualify for Medicaid during my retirement years?
People often confuse Medicaid and Medicare and/or use the two names interchangeably. Although both offer healthcare benefits, they are two very different programs. Like Medicaid, Medicare is funded by the U.S. government but is also administered by the federal government. Medicare is an entitlement program, meaning that as long as you paid into the program during your working years, you are automatically entitled to benefits when you turn 65. Medicaid, on the other hand, is a “needs based” … [Read more...] about What is the difference between Medicaid and Medicare?
Medicaid is a healthcare program that is primarily funded by the U.S. federal government; however, it is administered by the individual states. Consequently, the eligibility guidelines and benefits offered can vary somewhat from one state to the next. Most states, including New Jersey, offer different categories of Medicaid, such as Medicaid for children, for pregnant women, and for the aged and disabled. … [Read more...] about What is Medicaid?
The facts and figures for Alzheimer’s disease are shocking. One in three seniors with die with Alzheimer’s or another form of age related dementia. A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is typically followed by a period of heightened emotions and confusion, making it difficult to focus on the practical and legal ramifications of the diagnosis. Do not wait too long to consult with an elder law attorney though, as there are some important legal steps that should be taken as soon as possible to protect you, … [Read more...] about Can an elder law attorney help me with the legal steps that need to be taken if my mother/father was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease?