Medicaid is a means-tested benefits program that provides health coverage to many Americans. If you are planning for long-term care during your golden years, qualifying for Medicaid may be high on your priority list. Still, if you have too many assets, you may be mostly out of luck.
To be eligible for Medicaid, you may need to part with some of your qualifying assets. You can probably also not have much monthly income. Even though there is a significant amount of misinformation about Medicaid online and in other places, you should not believe these three myths.
Myth 1: You must part with your home
Your home is probably one of your more valuable assets. Fortunately, in New York, the equity you have in your home does not typically make you ineligible for Medicaid coverage. Nevertheless, after you die or move out of your home, Medicaid officials may use its equity to pay for the care you have received.
Myth 2: Your spouse may become destitute
If you have a spouse, you may worry that spending down to qualify for Medicaid may leave him or her destitute. Fortunately, the Medicaid Spousal Impoverishment Rules exempt half of your countable resources, likely giving your husband or wife enough to live.
Myth 3: You can deal with assets when you need Medicaid
If you intend to take advantage of Medicaid, you must plan early. After all, you cannot simply transfer assets to your children or friends when you need Medicaid coverage, as Medicaid has a five-year look-back period.
While Medicaid is a major component of many New Yorkers’ estate plans, obtaining coverage can be challenging. Ultimately, by seeking the correct answers to your Medicaid-related questions, you have enough information to make planning decisions.