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Medicaid Planning 101

Unforeseen circumstances can put an unexpected kink in the plans you had for your retirement years, especially if you suddenly need long-term in-home care. One way to give yourself some much-appreciated peace of mind is to start your Medicaid planning sooner rather than later. Each state has income levels required for eligibility for Medicaid, although it’s an option worth considering if you want to protect your assets and have some extra financial assistance.

Income Guidelines

Most states require your assets and monthly income to be at or below a certain amount to qualify for Medicaid. Assets that aren’t automatically exempt may be sheltered by making certain financial arrangements. Taking such steps can:

  • Shelter countable assets
  • Protect assets shared with a healthy spouse
  • Preserve assets you wish to save or pass on to your loved ones

Reallocating Resources

One possible protective measure is to spend your savings before applying for Medicaid. For instance, you could pay off your mortgage, make home improvements, or even purchase an essential item like a car for a healthy spouse or other family member.

Setting Up an Irrevocable Trust

An irrevocable trust allows you to transfer assets you want sheltered from Medicaid income considerations to a preferred beneficiary. Such a setup usually has to have been in place for a specific period of time, which varies by state. Assets usually considered exempt and not requiring any protective actions include:

  • Your family home
  • Prepaid burial plots
  • Term life insurance
  • Your car

The process of sorting through your assets and protecting certain resources can get somewhat complicated, especially when you consider possibilities like an annuity to provide for your healthy spouse. An attorney specializing in elder law or a financial advisor can provide personalized assistance with such matters when looking to apply for Medicaid and minimize countable income.

When making financial plans, don’t overlook the need to plan for long-term care should it become a necessity. Reach out to Home Care Assistance to learn about your home care options. We offer part-time, live-in, and respite care in Boca Raton, ensuring seniors have the additional support needed to remain safe and comfortable while aging in place. Give us a call today at (561) 826.9282 for more information or to schedule your free in-home consultation.