South Carolina Medicaid planning is often used when a person requires long-term care and does not have private insurance or the financial resources to pay out-of-pocket. Many factors need to be considered to determine whether Medicaid is the best option and how to qualify while retaining the maximum allowable resources.
If you need help with Medicaid planning, consult a South Carolina elder law attorney. This article discusses some of the factors to consider in a Medicaid planning case.
Advanced Planning or Crisis Planning
It’s better to plan for long-term care expenses in advance for a few reasons:
- Private insurance tends to be more affordable the younger and healthier you are.
- Medicaid transfer penalties make it easier to plan in advance.
However, it isn’t always possible to wait several years before you’ll need long-term care. Sometimes, long-term is needed immediately due to a sudden medical diagnosis. These cases require crisis Medicaid planning.
The benefit of advanced planning is that you may be able to retain more assets while still qualifying for Medicaid.
Community Spouse and Transfer Penalties
Medicaid eligibility limits the assets that a person and their spouse can own. The spouse is called a community spouse and can own or control more assets than the person receiving long-term care from Medicaid.
However, there are limits on both spouses. There are some assets that can be excluded from eligibility decisions, such as a primary residence, but there are also strict rules about these assets.
Transfer penalties are also a major issue, particularly when advanced planning isn’t possible. You will be ineligible for Medicaid for a period of time if you make certain types of asset transfers. Basically, you can’t just give all of your assets to your kids and immediately qualify for Medicaid’s long-term care benefits.
There are many other issues to consider when considering Medicaid for long-term care benefits:
- You may have to spend-down your assets before becoming eligible.
- Medicaid may try to recover amounts paid for your benefit from your estate.
- You may need to pay some of your income towards your long-term care expenses.
Medicaid rules are very complex, so consult an elder law attorney to discuss your options.
Call (864)345-8529 to request your consultation at our North or South Carolina offices with one of the King Law elder law attorneys.