While there is no question that the fact that lifespans are increasing, even if someone has a medical condition, is a good thing, it also represents a larger financial burden for individuals, especially if someone needs at-home or nursing home care. While Medicaid is available to help with these costs, an individual's assets must have been mostly exhausted before they are able to take advantage of this program.
As a result, many people believe that they are not able to benefit from Medicaid unless they are uninsured or have very little money or assets. This not always the case, and there are a number of tools available that can protect or transfer the contents of your estate without depleting the majority of your assets. Some of the most common include promissory notes, gifts to family members and trusts.
Medicaid has a five-year look-back period, which means that transfers that have taken place in the last few years may hurt someone's chances of being eligible, so it is important that people start planning as far in advance as possible. However, even if you find yourself in an emergency, much can still be done to protect your assets, and in some instances, approximately half of your property may be able to be retained.
The laws related to Medicaid change from time to time. In addition to having a strategy for taking advantage of these benefits, it is important that such a plan stays current. For more information about how we may be able to assist you with these matters, please visit our web page on Medicaid planning.
Source: McMahon Law Firm, "Medicaid Planning Lawyers", September 04, 2014