You may be surprised to hear that the Medicaid program pays for the majority of the long-term care that is received by seniors in the United States. Why is this the case when most seniors qualify for Medicare? Because Medicare does not pay for assistance with your activities of daily living. Medicare will pay for covered medical expenses and convalescent care after a three-day hospital stay, but it will not pay for long-term custodial care. This type of care is very expensive, and most people cannot comfortably pay out-of-pocket. As result, many elders seek Medicaid eligibility because Medicaid will pay for long-term care. Let our Ashland Medicaid lawyer help you with Medicaid planning.
Medicaid is a need-based program
Medicaid is a need-based program, so you cannot qualify if you have significant assets in your own name. To qualify for Medicaid, people often give assets to their loved ones before they apply. This is called a Medicaid spend down. When you are spending down, you should be aware of the resources that you are allowed to keep. Your home is not considered to be a countable asset, but there is an equity limit in Kentucky so ask your elder law attorney for the current amount.
What is Elder Law?
Elder law is a term that describes all of those legal issues that have an impact on people as they get into their retirement years and eventually pass on from this life. While many people just assume that retirees have everything pretty well established prior to reaching their senior years, nothing could be further from the truth. Seniors still have many legal matters of great importance to their lives; those concerns are just focused on different things than they dealt with in their younger years.
How Medicaid requirements apply to married couples
Let’s say that you are married and you need long-term care. Your spouse does not need living assistance. Under these circumstances, your spouse would be referred to as the community spouse for Medicaid purposes.
The healthy spouse could remain in the home without any equity limit at all. Your spouse would also be able to keep half of the shared countable assets, but there is a limit for this too. There is also a Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance. If you are entering a long-term care facility while you are receiving income from any source, you are typically required to use most of this income to defray the long-term care costs. However, if your spouse is relying on this income for support, he or she can continue to utilize some of the income.
Request a consultation with our Ashland Medicaid lawyer
Seven out of every ten seniors will eventually need long-term care so these expenses are something that many people will face. Medicaid can provide a solution so you keep resources in the family. If you would like to discuss Medicaid planning with our licensed Ashland Medicaid lawyer, let us know.
Why you need Medicaid planning?
A lot of people are shocked when they hear that Medicare will not pay for a stay in a long-term care facility and they are further stunned when they find out exactly how much it costs to stay in a nursing home. The blow can be softened somewhat when your attorney explains to you that in many cases it is possible to qualify for Medicaid as a way to pay for living assistance. In fact, the vast majority of people who are in nursing homes use Medicaid to pay for their care. While there is an upper financial asset limit of just $2000, your home does not count toward this limit.
There is no equity limit at all if your spouse or a dependent child is going to be living in the home when you enter a long-term care facility. Another piece of information that is useful to absorb is the fact that Medicaid is required to seek repayment for monies laid out to pay for the living assistance of an individual who has since passed away. However, the residence that you have left behind cannot be attached for repayment purposes if your spouse is still living in the home after your death. Other planning may be required to provide additional protection for the home and for other assets.
Join us for a FREE seminar today! If you have questions regarding living trusts or any other estate planning matters, please contact the experienced attorneys at The Potter Law Firm for a consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us at (606) 324-5516 (Ashland, KY) or at (859) 372-6655 (Florence, KY), or for individuals in North Carolina, at (704) 944-3245 (Charlotte, NC and Huntersville, NC).