What is Medicaid Planning? (Asset Protection)
There are many complexities to Medicaid planning, it's important to understand this: Medicaid is there to help families. Medicaid planning is the best way of insuring that you receive the benefits to assure the protection of your hard-earned assets.
The first step in Medicaid planning is education. The more you know about how Medicaid works, the better you will be able to look out for your family.
Things To Remember
It's Never Too Late
Medicaid planning can begin anytime, even if your loved one is already living in a skilled care facility. However, the sooner you plan, the more options you will have to protect what's important to you.
You Can Keep Your Home
If you're married, and you or your spouse needs to go into a nursing home, your home is exempt from Medicaid's calculation of what your contribution to the cost of care should be. If you are unmarried or widowed and you go into a nursing home, your house may be exempt if you follow certain procedures, but planning is key to preserving your home.
Don't Give Away The Store
Major changes to laws in 2006 about "gifting" away your assets creates unforeseen circumstances for your assets. Far from protecting yourself, you will be undermining your own security.
Mind Those Safe Harbors
Congress has created a number of "safe harbor" provisions for protecting your assets. These exempt certain assets and allow transfers to children or siblings who meet certain eligibility requirements, as well as allowing assets to be put into certain kinds of trusts.
Carefully Choose When To Apply
Applying too early can mean a longer wait for Medicaid qualification than necessary, while applying too late can mean having to pay for months of care you may not have had to. PLEASE REMEMBER: TO ENSURE YOU QUALIFY DO NOT APPLY FOR MEDICAID ON YOUR OWN WITHOUT A PLAN.
Get The Right Help
Medicaid planning is a complex matter. You need expert assistance to keep your assets safe. Be sure to find legal counsel who limits their practice to this area - someone with proven expertise in Medicaid law.