Many people worry about how their future medical needs will affect their family’s financial health. Finding ways to pay for care is especially important if you one day may need around-the-clock care provided by a nursing home or other long-term care facility. Private health insurance does not pay for this type of care, and most people do not carry long-term care insurance. In the end, many Americans rely on government benefits — Medicaid — to pay for the nursing home care they receive.
If you do not plan for Medicaid, you may need to spend down all your family’s assets before you qualify. This is where a Medicaid planning attorney in Linwood at Bratton Law comes in. Our attorneys, nurse, and social workers can put a personalized plan in place that protects your assets and allows you to qualify for Medicaid sooner. Call our office today at 856-857-6007 to make an appointment for your free consultation.
Why Is It So Difficult to Qualify for Medicaid to Pay for Nursing Home Care?
Medicaid is a need-based program that covers medical care and long-term care facility placement for those who cannot afford it on their own. The criteria to qualify for Medicaid in New Jersey includes providing documentation that you:
- Are a U.S. citizen or a qualifying immigrant;
- Are at least 65 years old, or suffer from a qualifying permanent disability; and
- Can prove your income and assets meet the strict limits
The government program has strict income and asset limits, and most families will not qualify until they have spent a significant portion of their savings and sold off assets to pay for this type of care. However, most families also cannot pay for a nursing home out-of-pocket for more than a few months. Only the wealthiest families can afford this type of around-the-clock care without depleting their assets.
Eventually, they spend down enough of their assets to qualify for Medicaid. This is not the situation anyone wants, but it is common. These families spend all they have in their bank and savings accounts, retirement accounts, investments, and even cash out life insurance policies. They sell all valuable collections.
To many, the solution seems simple — to avoid spending or selling everything they own, they try to move their assets to their heirs and qualify for Medicaid quickly.
However, Medicaid is also aware of this type of plan and puts limits on how you can distribute your assets in the five years prior to filing for benefits. When you apply, Medicaid investigates your financial history. This includes your tax records, credit card bills, mortgage statements, and other financial records. If it finds any evidence of this, it can prevent you from receiving Medicaid and other benefits for several years.
This is why it is important to discuss Medicaid planning with a team of attorneys who understand the legal ways to protect your assets.
How Does Medicaid Planning Offer Me Peace of Mind About My Future?
Many of us will need a nursing home or similar care facility in our final years. This naturally raises concerns about getting the medical care you need, and maintaining the quality of life you enjoy. If you have questions about how you will pay for your care without draining your family’s bank account, putting a plan in place is the best way to get peace of mind about your future.
We can help you plan for a time when you need specialized care but can no longer make financial decisions about the care you receive. We accomplish this by building a step-by-step process that allows you to qualify for Medicaid as soon as possible.
We also have social workers and a registered nurse who can line up other resources to ensure you get the support you need to coordinate any care not covered by Medicaid. This means you have access to comprehensive medical care and health services, and you do not have to worry about how to pay for this care.
How Does Medicaid Planning Help Me Protect My Family’s Financial Future?
By planning ahead, we can help you protect your assets and ensure your heirs receive them. Our plans offer legal ways to distribute these assets, protecting them from being spent to pay for your nursing home care and allowing you to qualify for Medicaid and other government benefits sooner.
There is no one-size-fits-all plan for Medicaid planning. Our Medicaid planning team gets to know you and your family, and talks to you about your goals and preferences before we begin the planning process. Depending on your age, health condition, and other factors, we can formulate a plan to protect many of your family’s assets. This plan may include gifts, trusts, and other financial vehicles. We strive to ensure your spouse and family still has access to any money they need, but put it outside of the reach of Medicaid’s accounting methods.
We typically have the best results in cases where families begin the Medicaid planning process earlier rather than later. Medicaid limits what we can do to protect your assets within five years of your application date. This means if your family needs these benefits now, it may be too late. By starting earlier, we can easily protect most, if not all, of your children’s and grandchildren’s inheritance.
How Can I Talk to a Medicaid Planning Attorney in Linwood?
At Bratton Law, our Medicaid planning team wants to ensure you have a peace of mind about your future. We can protect your assets while also paying for the medical care you may need in your final years. To learn more about our Medicaid planning services in a complimentary consultation, call our office today at 856-857-6007.