What is Medicaid

Medicaid is the main source of payment for long-term care in the US:
  • Medicaid is a government benefits program.
  • It was established by federal law, but is run by the states and co-funded by both the federal and state governments.
  • It has a medical insurance component for the poor and separate system that pays for a portion of nursing home costs for those who do not have sufficient long-term care insurance coverage.
  • To qualify, there are federal and state rules that create a means test (asset and income limits) – different for individual patients or married patients – used to determine when the state will step in and help and to what extent.
  • To become eligible, a person is forced to spend his or her own assets down to pre-determined levels, a process known as the “Medicaid spend down.”
  • If unplanned for, the cost of a nursing home can easily be the single most expensive item a person pays for in his or her lifetime.

 How do I get to use Medicaid?

  • Medicaid has many rules that can help a patient protect family assets from the spend down if they know how to take advantage of the rules.
  • The Medicaid rules are complex and constantly changing; the average person usually has no idea where to begin or what they are allowed to/prohibited from doing – they need help in a crisis.
  • The longer a person waits to seek help, the fewer planning choices are generally available.
  • Because Medicaid is so complex, most of the typical people we rely on (banker, financial advisor, etc.) do not have a good understanding of the Medicaid process to help their clients avoid common traps and pitfalls.
  • Most Medicaid eligibility strategies require a coordinated effort between various disciplines (e.g., care manager, financial advisor, Medicaid planning attorney, CPA, etc.), working in concert to best help the patient and the patient’s family best protect their assets.
  • There are numerous tools available to help people protect assets including those provided by financial advisors, such as burial trust plans and commercial annuities that meet the Medicaid rules, and those provided by attorneys, such as special needs trusts, promissory notes, and transfer on death deeds, which are provided by attorneys.
  • Federal Medicaid rules permit a patient to choose anyone to assist with a Medicaid application.

How can Medicaid planning benefit me?

  • If you or your family is in need of help or assistnce with  protecting assets from a Medicaid spend down and the cost of long-term care, our team of professionals can help you design a plan that meets your need.
  • Our team won’t leave you out in the cold once a plan is designed.  We can help you implement the plan and even provide assistance to shepherd your application for benefits through your state Medicaid agency.
  • A well drafted and implemented Medicaid asset proteciton plan can potentially save you tens of thousands of dollars every year.

If you need help with Medicaid eligibility for yourself or a loved one, please email [email protected]