If you or a loved one requires nursing home placement or other long-term care, you may eventually need to rely on Medicaid to pay for this type of care. Because Medicaid is a needs-based program, this usually requires families to pay out-of-pocket for the initial months or even years of care. Around-the-clock care is both intensive and expensive, so a healthy nest egg can disappear quickly.
There are options to avoid this situation, however. At Bratton Law Group, our Medicaid planning attorney in Philadelphia can offer you advice based on your individual situation, and help you put a legal strategy in place to protect your children’s inheritance. We have an interdisciplinary team of Medicaid planning attorneys, social workers, a certified dementia practitioner and a registered nurse who are standing by to help you. Call us today at (856) 857-6007.
How Philadelphia Medicaid Qualification Works
Most health insurance, including Medicare, does not cover assisted living or nursing home care. This means families who need to rely on this type of care must either pay it out-of-pocket or rely on Medicaid. Medicaid, as a government program designed for those in dire financial need, has strict income and asset criteria. The qualifications include:
- You must be a U.S. citizen or a qualifying immigrant
- You must be at least 65 years old, or suffer from a qualifying disability
- Your household income and assets must meet the current program limits
Spending Down Assets to Qualify
Many people think the only way they will qualify for Medicaid is to spend down their assets and pay for care out of pocket until they can meet the Medicaid limits. This is far from the truth. There is a legal way to get Medicaid sooner without spending all your assets. Our team will help you protect your assets and get Medicaid benefits sooner.
This is not something you want to try to do on your own. The Medicaid rules are complex, and the claims team will look for evidence that you gave money or other assets to your children or other family members before they approve your benefits. If it finds you tried to move assets or gave away money in the five years before your application, you will likely need to serve a penalty period before you can qualify for Medicaid.
How Medicaid Planning Works in Philadelphia
By letting us help you with Medicaid planning, you can pass your assets down to the next generation while still getting the Medicaid benefits you need. We know the laws and rules that apply to Medicaid planning, and can help you develop a strategy that will get you nursing home care coverage as soon as possible while spending down as few assets as possible.
The best time to start is now. If you put your strategy in place at least five years before you need Medicaid, we can protect most of your savings without penalty. We will be able to help you distribute your assets, protecting them from Medicaid and ensuring there is an inheritance left for your children and grandchildren.
Medicaid looks at your financial information for the last five years when you apply, so if we develop your strategy early enough, we can opt to:
- Put a portion of your assets into a trust, where it remains protected for your children and grandchildren
- Gift valuables to your heirs
- Move money into a trusted family member’s account,
- Donate to a beloved charity
We can also help you put a strong strategy in place if you may need nursing home care in the next year, or if you need it now. We can even help with Medicaid planning if you are already in a nursing home. In this case, we will protect as many of your assets as possible, but the task is more complicated. You may have to spend down some of your savings to pay for care, but we will protect as much as we can and work to minimize the penalties against you.
Medicaid Planning Comes with Many Benefits
Medicaid planning ensures you or your loved one gets the level of care they need, without bankrupting your family. It is the best way to pay for a long-term care facility or in-home nursing care not covered by private insurance or Medicare. At the same time, it gives you and the rest of your family peace of mind about your financial future.
A Medicaid planning attorney can help you with putting a plan in place, benefiting you in several ways. This includes:
- No worries about how you can afford any necessary care
- Ensuring you or your loved one gets the appropriate level of care
- Maintaining the best quality of life possible, both for the nursing home resident and for their family
- Ensuring your family is able to access the assets you earned and wanted to leave to them
When we work with a family on a Medicaid planning strategy or other estate planning services, we spend a lot of time discussing their preferences and the goals they hope to accomplish through their plan. Our life care planning team takes the time to get to know you and your family, so we can meet your unique needs. Only once we have a good idea of exactly what you want to do we create a step-by-step plan to help you or a loved one qualify for Medicaid sooner while protecting as many of your family’s assets as possible.
Talk to a Medicaid Planning Attorney in Philadelphia
At Bratton Law Group, our estate planning attorneys have the experience and knowledge to help you protect the assets you worked so hard for. We can help you get you the Medicaid benefits you need to pay for nursing home care sooner, and without spending down your entire nest egg. Let us build a plan for you. Call us today at (856) 857-6007.