Throughout the United States, many nursing home patients depend upon Medicaid to pay for nursing home care bills that can total more than $100,000 a year. Many patients of all ages with serious and costly illnesses rely upon Medicaid to provide coverage that they can afford, when other insurers including Medicare are too expensive and come with co-insurance costs that are too high. Patients and families also depend upon Medicaid to cover things that Medicare and other insurers will not provide.
At any moment, you could become one of those patients who needs Medicaid to pay your bills. Unfortunately, if your income is too high or if you have too many resources, you could be unable to qualify for Medicaid until you have impoverished yourself. This process of losing a life savings does not have to happen though.
A Medicaid planning lawyer at The Potter Law Firm can provide you with assistance protecting your wealth and qualifying for benefits. Give us a call at (704) 944-3245 if you’re located in North Carolina or (606)-324-5516 for help in Kentucky to talk with an experienced attorney who can help you to make a plan to qualify for Medicaid and who can answer questions you may have including:
- Will I ever need to qualify for Medicaid?
- How can I make sure I can get Medicaid benefits when I need them?
- How can a Medicaid Planning Lawyer Help Me?
Will You Ever Need to Qualify for Medicaid?
You may assume you won’t need Medicaid if you have private insurance or if you are covered by Medicare. If you’re healthy, you may think you won’t need Medicaid. Those who have put aside money may also feel confident that they’ll never come to rely on Medicaid, since Medicaid is for those with low income. Unfortunately, if you believe any of these things, you are wrong and are taking a serious risk with your financial future.
You may need Medicaid even if you have private insurance coverage AND Medicare, and you may need Medicaid some day in the future even if you are healthy now and have a sizable nest egg. The biggest reason why you may come to need Medicaid is if you ever need routine nursing home care.
Unless you’re getting skilled medical services for a brief time, Medicare and private insurers will not pay for nursing home care. If you have not made a plan and cannot qualify for Medicaid, you must pay privately for a nursing home. Nursing home care costs more than $100,000 annually in most cases, so even wealthier people with assets could spend their life savings frighteningly quickly if nursing home care is needed.
How can You Get Medicaid Benefits When You Need Them?
If you make a Medicaid plan in advance of the time when you need Medicaid benefits, you will no longer have to worry about the possibility of impoverishing yourself to pay for nursing home care. You can work with an experienced attorney at The Potter Law Firm to use trusts and other Medicaid planning tools to ensure that your wealth is not going to be lost due to an unlucky health event that necessitates nursing home care.
The Medicaid planning process usually involves making at least some transfers of assets, so it is important to complete this process at least five years before you need nursing home care if it is possible for you to do so. There is a five-year lookback rule when applying for Medicaid, and if you have made a transfer of assets during the five-years of financial transactions that Medicaid reviews, this could result in a temporary disqualification from Medicaid coverage.
Under the five-year lookback rule, you’ll face a set number of months during which you cannot get Medicaid to pay for nursing home care. This number of months is determined by dividing the value of transferred assets by the average nursing home care cost in your area. During the time when you cannot get Medicaid due to this period of disqualification, you and your family may have no choice but to pay privately for nursing home care since there will likely be no source of insurance coverage at all.
The Potter Law Firm can still help to save some of your assets in many cases, even if the need for nursing home care is imminent and you do not have time to make transfers outside of the five year lookback rule. However, the sooner you begin Medicaid planning, the more of your wealth you can protect.
How can a Medicaid Planning Lawyer Help You?
The Potter Law Firm will assist you in making use of legal tools to try to keep wealth secure and qualify for Medicaid when you need nursing home care or other costly treatment. Give us a call at (704) 944-3245, (606)-324-5516 or (859) 372-6655 to discover more about how our legal team can help you. You can also contact us online to get personalized advice from a Medicaid planning lawyer about preparing in case you need costly care.