The enormous costs associated with nursing homes and other long-term care facilities mean most families cannot pay for more than a few months on their own. Eventually, most nursing home residents need to rely on Medicaid to pay for their care. However, qualifying for these government benefits is challenging. Without planning and understanding the applicable rules, you may need to spend down your family’s nest egg before you or your loved one qualifies for benefits.
A Medicaid planning lawyer in Voorhees, NJ at Bratton Estate & Elder Care Attorneys can put a strategy in place to help your loved one get the benefits they need sooner without losing all your hard-earned assets. We have a team of estate planning lawyers, social workers, and a registered nurse ready to go to work for you. Call us today at 856-857-6007.
Understanding Medicaid Qualifications and Rules in Voorhees, NJ
Medicaid is a public benefits program that covers some health care costs for those who qualify. Unlike Medicare and private health insurance, Medicaid will cover the cost of nursing home care and placement in other similar long-term care facilities. This is the only way many families can afford the level of care their aging loved one requires.
Medicaid Qualifications in Voorhees, NJ
There are strict qualifications you must meet to get Medicare benefits. These include:
- You must be a U.S. citizen or a qualifying immigrant;
- You must be at least age 65 or suffer from a qualifying disability; and
- Your household income and assets must meet the program’s limits
Income and Asset Limits Prevent Many Families from Qualifying
The income and asset limits to qualify for Medicaid are very low, and this prevents many seniors from getting Medicaid benefits as quickly as they need them. Instead, their families must begin paying for their care out of pocket.
With no room in the strict limits for valuable assets or nest eggs, the inheritance meant for the next generation goes to the nursing home to pay for care until there is little left. Only then can their aging loved one apply for and receive Medicaid benefits.
Beware of the Dangers of Trying to Move Assets on Your Own
Many people try to handle Medicaid planning on their own; however, if they do not understand the rules, they may dig themselves into a deeper hole.
When someone applies for benefits, Medicaid looks back five years to determine their financial situation. If you moved money into your child’s account, gave away or sold valuable heirlooms, or otherwise tried to spend down your assets before you applied, Medicaid will see this. You will likely have to serve a penalty period without Medicaid benefits before you can apply.
The Role of Asset Protection
With a Medicaid planning lawyer on your side, it may be possible to put an asset protection plan in place that uses certain legal strategies to protect your money from the spend down process. Getting started early gives us the best chance to protect more of your assets, but we may be able to help you with Medicaid planning if your loved one is already in a nursing home or other care facility.
We Can Help You Create a Voorhees, NJ Medicaid Qualification Plan
The ultimate goal of Medicaid planning is to help your loved one qualify for coverage sooner while spending down as few of your assets as possible. If we get started five years or more before you require Medicaid coverage, we may be able to:
- Move your assets into a trust
- Gift valuables to your heirs
- Move money into your child’s account
- Donate to your favorite charity
- Take other steps to protect your assets
If your health changes suddenly and you need around-the-clock care sooner, or if we get started planning later, we can work on a strategy that protects as much of your nest egg as possible. You may need to spend some on care during a penalty period, but we can help you with a plan that maximizes your remaining assets and minimizes the penalty against you.
Medicaid Planning Benefits the Whole Family
Medicaid planning offers several benefits, and many of them affect the whole family. Not only does your aging loved one get the long-term or nursing home care they need, but it secures the financial future of their children and grandchildren. Medicaid planning can help your family:
- Stop worrying about how to pay for around-the-clock care
- Feel confident aging loved ones will get the appropriate level of care they need, even as circumstances change
- Allow a spouse or children still in the home to continue to live the same quality of life they currently enjoy
- Retain the hard-earned assets meant for future generations
We believe every family is unique, so we always strive to get to know families before we make any recommendations. Our team will learn more about your needs and preferences before we start to build a custom asset protection plan that fits your specific situation.
Talk to a Medicaid Planning Lawyer in Voorhees, NJ
At Bratton Estate & Elder Care Attorneys, we will work closely with your family to help you get the care you need for your loved one without losing all the assets for which you worked so hard. We will develop a strategy to help you protect your nest egg while your loved one qualifies for the Medicaid benefits they need sooner. Our elder law attorneys understand Medicaid law and can help you use it to your advantage.
Call us at 856-857-6007 to get started with your Voorhees, NJ Medicaid asset protection plan today.