For many senior residents, the cost of treatment and services is a huge concern. Often, healthcare plans that were in effect while working are no longer available or are economically out of reach. Lots of elderly Americans rely on the Medicaid program for assistance. Receiving the program can be difficult for a person who has even minimum possessions.
Although the Medicaid program is largely funded by the federal government, each specific state administers their own program. Because the private states run their own Medicaid programs, the eligibility requirements might vary rather from one state to the next. In all states, however, there are both income and resources limits that apply to all applicants. An applicant who has income above the limitation or who has resources valued above the limitation will be denied Medicaid benefits. For numerous elderly applicants who depend on a fixed income, the earnings limit may not be a problem. The resources limitation, on the hand, can be a bar to benefits.
In many states, the resources limitation is as low as $2000. For an elderly individual who has actually worked all his/her life to buy a house or reserved something for the golden years, a $2000 limitation on assets can be an issue. Just signing over properties to a family member will not work because many states have a “recall” period. Any properties transferred during that duration– as long as 5 years– should be disclosed on an application or it could be considered Medicaid fraud.
There are legal estate planning tools that can be used to help a senior private get approved for Medicaid without losing all of his/her assets, but cautious planning is important to prevent being implicated of Medicaid fraud. Not only will an application be denied if it appears as though an applicant is hiding possessions or not being forthright about properties, however criminal charges for Medicaid scams might likewise be imposed against the applicant.
If you think that you may need Medicaid coverage in the future, make the effort now to speak with your estate planning lawyer about how to structure your estate in such a way that will qualify you for the program without triggering you to lose the assets you have worked your entire life to get.