The Medicaid program may be the furthest thing from your mind if you have health insurance through your employer or Medicare. However, at some point in your life, you may be very interested in the Medicaid eligibility parameters.
We are going to answer a particular question that is asked about Medicaid in this post, but first, we will explain why you should care about this need-based program.
Paid Living Assistance
Most people assume that they will be able to handle their activities of daily living when they are seniors. Yes, you may not be quite the same in the gym, and you may retire your long-distance running shoes, but you will be able to handle the basics, right?
You can certainly hope that the answer is yes, but the statistics tell a different tale. Seven out of every 10 seniors will need living assistance of some kind, and 52 percent will require paid care.
It is easy to understand the statistics when recognize the fact that the life expectancy for somebody that is turning 67 today is 85 to 87 years depending on their gender.
Medicare does not pick up the tab for long-term care, but Medicaid will pay for a stay in a nursing home, and there is a Medicaid waiver program that will cover in-home care. Custodial care is very expensive, and this is why many people seek Medicaid eligibility at some point.
Medicaid Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance
Now that we have provided the background information, we can move on to the point of this post. You cannot qualify for Medicaid if you have more than $1600 in countable assets, and your income must be contributed toward the cost of the care that you will receive.
This is the arrangement for a single person, but if you are married and your spouse is living independently, they could keep all or some of the income. They would be entitled to a Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance if they can prove that they need the income.
There is a limit that stands at $3259.50 in 2021, and there is a minimum allowance of $2155. These figures are adjusted annually to account for inflation, so you will see somewhat higher minimum and maximum allowances next year.
We should point out the fact that the Medicaid beneficiary is entitled to a personal needs allowance, but it is just $60 a month.
Community Spouse Resource
The healthy spouse can also receive a Community Spouse Resource Allowance. This is a 50 percent share of the couple’s assets, but there is a $130,380 limit this year. We also have a minimum allowance in Connecticut, and that figure is $26,076.
A home is not considered to be a countable asset for Medicaid eligibility purposes, but there is an equity limit. During the current calendar year, it stands at a rather robust $906,000. If a healthy spouse is remaining in the home, there is no equity limit.
Medicaid Estate Recovery
Medicaid is required to seek reimbursement from the estates of beneficiaries. Yes, you can potentially qualify if you own a home, but they would put a lien on it after you pass away.
There is an exception if you give the home to one of your children after they have been acting as an in-home caregiver for at least two years.
Medicaid Trust and the Five-Year Look-Back
You can convey your home and other property into an irrevocable trust in an effort to qualify for Medicaid, but this is easier said than done. There is a five-your look back period, so divestitures must be completed at least five years before you apply for Medicaid coverage.
We should point out the fact that you could receive distributions of income that is generated by the assets in the trust until you apply for Medicaid, so you could still live comfortably.
Schedule a Consultation Today!
Today is the day for action if you are going through life without a nursing home asset protection plan. When you take the right steps at the right time, you can enjoy your golden years and prepared for your twilight years in a pragmatic manner.
You can schedule a consultation at our Westport or Glastonbury, Connecticut estate planning office if you call us at 860-548-1000. There is also a contact form on this site you can use to send us a message, and if you reach out electronically, you will receive a prompt response.
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