5 Facts You Probably Did Not Know About Qualifying for Medicaid
Download Our Free Medicaid eBook
Your health and the health of your family are two of your highest priorities, and nothing should stand in the way of your family’s well-being. You can preserve your family’s assets, while accessing long term care services through the Medicaid program when you enter a nursing home.
Medicaid applicants are rigorously vetted, so it is crucial that you satisfy every criterion if you wish to receive Medicaid. The qualifications for coverage are specific, and there can be delays or penalties if you do not meet each standard. If you are unsure whether you would be a solid candidate for Medicaid, the following tips can point you in the right direction.
1. Home Improvement Can Help You Qualify for Medicaid.
For Medicaid eligibility, an applicant can have only $14,850. In order to become eligible, applicants have the option of spending down their assets. Medicaid recipients are entitled to have one automobile, and to reach the $14,850 threshold, applicants can spend any additional money in their savings through such measures as paying off debts and making improvements to their homes
2. Not Every Asset Affects Eligibility.
If you have a child caregiver, you may be able to transfer the house to your child without being penalized. If your sibling has helped you with living expenses, you may be able to transfer the house to your sibling instead. Medicaid applicants are also able to transfer their homes to their spouses. If you have an IRA or a 401K that is in a payout status, and you are at least 70 and a half years of age, the IRA will not affect your eligibility. In addition, a prepaid funeral account is not considered as an asset.
3. You Can Still Make Certain Gifts and Still Qualify.
In most instances, gifts made over the past five years may affect your eligibility for Medicaid. However, you have a past pattern of making gifts such as wedding gifts, gifts to religious institutions, or gifts for grandchildren’s birthdays, and you are in good health, then it is possible to challenge this presumption of gifts made for the purpose of qualifying for Medicaid. Plus, there is no limit on how much you can donate to children with disabilities; there is no penalty for this type of donation.
4.You Can Transfer Some of Your Assets and Avoid Penalization—If You Do So Early Enough.
One method of nursing home planning under Medicaid is to transfer assets into a living or inter vivos In order to protect your assets, the trust that you create must be irrevocable, and you would be required to transfer your assets into the trust at least five years before you complete and submit your application for Medicaid.
5. Disinheriting Your Husband or Wife Can Preserve Your Assets.
If your spouse is in a nursing home and receiving Medicaid, consulting with an attorney about updating your will can offer protection to your assets in case your health is impacted. Disinheriting a spouse in a nursing home can prevent your assets from being paid to the nursing home if you were to predecease your spouse.
Qualifying for Medicaid can often be difficult and confusing. However, numerous benchmarks have been put in place to defend the system against misuse. If you or a loved one are nearing a nursing home and could benefit from emergency Medicaid planning, consult one of our elder law attorneys in Buffalo NY to determine your eligibility.
Download Our Free Medicaid eBook