Medicare will pay for covered medical expenses and convalescent care after surgery, 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 a result, many elders seek Medicaid eligibility, because Medicaid will pay for long-term care. Medicaid pays for the majority of the long-term care that is received by seniors in the United States. Why would this be the case when most people are going to qualify for Medicare? The answer to this question is a simple one: Medicare does not pay for assistance with your activities of daily living. Let our Ashland Medicaid lawyer help you with Medicaid planning.
How Do You Qualify for Medicaid if you Have Assets?
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 or assisted living community. 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 are using 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. 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.
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 have to reduce their assets 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. In appropriate circumstances you are able to preserve other assets as well during the spenddown process so talk with your elder law attorney about your options.
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 to this resource allowance. 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 use 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 most of us will face. Medicaid can provide a solution so that you to keep some resources in the family. If you would like to discuss Medicaid planning with our licensed Ashland Medicaid lawyer, let us know.
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