How the Medicaid process worksMedicaid programs and eligibility requirements vary by state. In Missouri, the state Medicaid program is called the MO HealthNet Division. It provides health care access and housing services to low-income individuals who are elderly or disabled, as well as qualified people and families in many other circumstances. Beneficiaries are categorized into Medical Eligibility (ME) groups based on their specific factors. Your assets and monthly income must fall below a minimum standard to qualify. It is possible to rearrange your finances, so that countable assets are traded for exempt assets or made inaccessible to the state. For example, instead of exhausting your savings on nursing-home bills, you could pay off your mortgage. One of the reasons you do not want to liquidate all of your assets to cover your own nursing-home care is because you want to assist your loved ones financially, even after you die. You can do that by establishing an irrevocable trust. Property placed in an irrevocable trust is excluded from your financial picture and therefore not considered a countable asset when determining Medicaid eligibility. By naming a proper beneficiary, the assets in the trust are sheltered from the state and preserved for your heirs.
What about healthy spouses who don’t need special care?Making sure that your healthy spouse has money to live on also is a concern for many people who require nursing-home care. When the state considers whether one spouse is eligible for Medicaid, the couple’s assets are pooled. The healthy partner is allowed to keep a spousal resource allowance that typically amounts to half of the couple’s total assets. The healthy spouse may want to utilize jointly-owned, countable assets to purchase a single premium immediate annuity. By converting countable assets into an income stream, each spouse can keep all of his or her income rather than pooling their assets. This allows the spouse receiving treatment to qualify for Medicaid, while the healthy spouse still has a consistent source of income.
A wide range of essential advice for seniorsIf you need some friendly legal guidance when dealing with Medicaid issues, contact TuckerAllen. Our attorneys will give you insightful counsel on a variety of topics related to long-term care and many other issues affecting elder citizens. For instance, even if you’re not yet concerned about your future health care needs, it still is important to have a comprehensive estate plan. When you designate which family members will inherit your possessions, you spare them the pain and cost of a probate fight or family disagreements when the time comes. The experienced elder law attorneys at TuckerAllen specialize in affordable smart solutions for wills, trusts, Power of Attorney documents, and other essential aspects of estate plans, including long-term provisions for special-needs adults. TuckerAllen also offers complimentary educational webinars, where we explain a range of estate plan options and asset protection programs, all in terms that are easy to understand. To learn more, contact us today. You also can arrange to have an initial consultation to discuss your individual priorities.
Medicaid Can Assist Your Long-Term Needs