This is confusing to some, because the majority of people are going to qualify for Medicare when they reach the age of 65. Unfortunately, Medicare does not pay for custodial care. This is the type of care that you would receive if you were to reside in a nursing home or assisted living community.
Medicare only covers medical and convalescent care. The program does not cover custodial care.
Medicaid Eligibility Requirements
Medicaid is intended for people with very limited financial resources. As a result, you must be able to prove that you have financial need if you want to qualify for coverage.
Because of the income and asset limits, people typically engage in a process called a spend down before they apply for Medicaid. But Medicaid will not let you just give your children their inheritances in advance until you have very little left in your own name; instead, Medicaid has rules you must comply with.
The asset limit stands at $2000 for an individual in most states, but your home does not count up to a certain amount of equity. We have offices in North Carolina and Kentucky. In these states, the equity limit is $543,000 at the time of this writing in 2014. Your home is safe while you are living, as long as you have less than $543,000 in equity.
It should be noted that there is no equity limit at all if your spouse is staying in the home.
Medicaid Recovery Efforts
The states are required to seek reimbursement for money spent on long-term care after a benefit recipient passes away. If you engage in a Medicaid spend down to divest yourself of assets prior to applying for the program, you would have very little left in your own name, so your estate would be limited.
Because of the fact that your home does not count, you could potentially pass away while in possession of your home after receiving help from Medicaid. Under these circumstances, technically, Medicaid could seek to attach your home after you pass away.
In reality, most states are not very aggressive when it comes to Medicaid recovery efforts. However, you could take steps in advance to make sure that your home cannot be targeted by Medicaid recovery. There are different ways to protect your home based on your individual circumstances.
Medicaid Planning Consultation
There is a lot to take into consideration if you are interested in future Medicaid coverage. If you have questions, we can provide you with the answers.
We offer free Medicaid planning consultations, and you can contact us through this link to set up an appointment: Charlotte NC Medicaid Planning.