Regardless if you’re in a nursing home presently or are planning on entering long-term care, an experienced Hendersonville Medicaid Planning attorney can provide you with a comprehensive explanation of Medicaid laws that relate to long-term care, along with careful attention to detail.
Challenges of Paying for Long-Term Care
One of the biggest challenges many seniors face today is paying for the expenses associated with long-term care. Three factors complicate these challenges. These are:
- Medical and nursing home costs continue to increase
- Through medical advancements, individuals are living longer than ever before
- Medicare doesn’t pay for the expenses of long-term care, contrary to popular belief
A skilled Hendersonville Medicaid planning lawyer can help you maximize the long-term care and nursing home benefits to which you or your loved one is entitled. They’ll sit down and review your financial situation to determine if you or your loved one qualify for Medicaid benefits. They’ll also learn about your objectives and develop a plan to help you pay for your loved one’s long-term care costs and preserve assets. They know all the ins and outs of Hendersonville Medicaid laws.
Medicare vs. Medicaid
A lot of individuals confuse Medicaid with Medicare. They’re very different. Medicare is part of a federal program available to disabled individuals and senior citizens. Generally, Medicare won’t cover long-term care, and there’s no limit on the value of a person’s income or assets to qualify. On the other hand, Medicaid is a type of medical assistance program operated through the cooperation of the Federal government and the state.
The goal of Medicaid is to offer medical care and assistance to individuals who are 65 years old or older, blind, or disabled. Eligibility for Medicaid is limited based on the value of the person’s income and assets. Medicaid covers long-term care and nursing home care.
The Benefits of Medicaid
Often, Medicaid planning asset protection is thought to be a way to pass down your assets to your loved ones in the event that you require long-term nursing home care. There are Federal guidelines put in place that govern Medicaid, though the Medicaid program may vary depending on each state. A Hendersonville Medicaid Planning lawyer can assist you in figuring out the relevant requirements when applying for Medicaid.
Additionally, Medicaid offers an Institutional Care Program (ICP) that covers qualified individuals with nursing home care. ICP applicants must typically qualify under the same requirements to be eligible to receive Medicaid. Applicants must:
- Be disabled or 65 years old or older
- Have NC Residency
- Be a US citizen
- Have a Social Security Number
- Notify the State of North Carolina if they currently carry health insurance coverage
- Also file for additional benefits that are available to them
- Be placed in a Medicaid-eligible nursing home
- Be medically determined to require nursing home services
A medical evaluation is also required to qualify for the Medicaid program. Additionally, a “financial test” determines if the applicant’s income and assets exceed the program’s limitations. Many applicants who don’t appear to qualify for the program initially due to having too much income, or too many assets, might qualify since specific assets are exempt from this calculation. This is where a Hendersonville Medicaid Planning attorney comes in. They can assist you in determining which of your assets will be counted and which may be excluded legally from the calculation.
Begin your Medicaid Planning Now
You should get started as soon as possible with your Medicaid planning. Medicaid has a five-year look-back period. For example, if you transfer all of your assets to your kids to qualify for Medicaid, then Medicaid “holds” these assets against you for the five-year period before you become Medicaid eligible.
Instead, you’ll want to set up an Irrevocable Living Trust to provide your loved ones “gifts” to avoid paying for Medicaid costs. You might be able to convert your assets and income into a Miller Trust or Qualified Income Trust. These trusts are used to assist you in qualifying for Medicaid when you wouldn’t meet the qualifications but don’t have sufficient resources to pay for long-term care.
Transactions like these can be complex and require the knowledge and expertise of an experienced attorney or financial planner. If one spouse needs long-term care, but the other is able to continue living independently in their home, the situation becomes even more complex. Work with a Hendersonville Medicaid Planning lawyer with the experience to overcome challenges like these so you can qualify for long-term care Medicaid benefits while still protecting your assets and income.
Contact the Experienced Hendersonville Medicaid Planning Lawyers at King Law Today
The laws that govern Medicaid benefits are highly complex. Don’t do it alone, as mishandled applications could result in the continued erosion of your assets. Be sure to consult with an experienced Medicaid Planning attorney here at King Law before taking action. We provide a Medicaid planning consultation and prompt, friendly, and competent legal advice and services.