4 Common Mistakes to Avoid During the Medicaid Planning Process

Most of us will eventually require nursing home care, and with a semi-private room in a Jacksonville nursing home costing an average of $252 per day, your savings can be quickly depleted to cover necessary care. To make matters even more difficult financially, Medicare and private insurance companies don’t cover the custodial care that nursing homes offer. Medicaid planning is your best resource for receiving the care you will need without draining your estate.

Applying successfully for Medicaid requires careful planning, as certain contingencies are involved. To improve your chances of qualifying for the healthcare coverage you will need, avoid these four common mistakes during the planning process.

1.  Waiting Until Too Much Time Has Passed

Medicaid planning should be done years, even decades, before you actually need it. Medicaid recipients are means-tested, meaning that your income and assets must not exceed a certain threshold. If you wait until you retire to start planning, you may have to exhaust a lot of the financial and property assets acquired during a lifetime of hard work before you can qualify. This is not fair to you or your loved ones.

2.  Giving Away Money and Property

If you start selling off or transferring assets to qualify for Medicaid, coverage can be significantly delayed. Medicaid has a five-year “lookback period,” meaning that all sales or transfers in the five years prior to your application will be closely examined. If it appears that you are divesting yourself of property to meet the Medicaid threshold, the amount of time you will have to wait for coverage will equal the value of this property divided by the average monthly cost of nursing home care in your community.

3.  Not Creating an Irrevocable Trust

Living trusts are an important Medicaid planning tool, but only certain types. If you place assets in a revocable living trust, they technically remain available to pay for your health care costs and will be counted in the means test calculations unless an exemption applies. If you need to create a trust for the purposes of qualifying for Medicaid, it must be irrevocable, as you will no longer legally own its contents. A special needs trust can also hold assets without affecting your eligibility.

4.  Failing to Consult an Estate Planning Attorney

Medicaid planning is an important estate planning tool, but with all the laws and regulations that apply, it is difficult to prepare and manage. A qualified estate planning attorney has both the knowledge and experience needed to protect your property without compromising your eligibility for future Medicaid coverage.

At Legacy Planning Law Group, we believe that after a lifetime of hard work, you are entitled to receive the nursing care you need while preserving your estate for your loved ones. Let us help you plan for your future and theirs by creating an estate plan that includes Medicaid planning. To schedule an appointment, contact us or call (904) 880-5554.

Written by Legacy Planning Law Group

Legacy Planning Law Group is dedicated to working with individuals and families to help protect the assets they have built throughout their life, and make everything simpler for families who have lost a loved one. We help thoughtful people achieve the peace of mind that comes with planning their personal legacy and passing on family harmony.

Written by Legacy Planning Law Group

Legacy Planning Law Group is dedicated to working with individuals and families to help protect the assets they have built throughout their life, and make everything simpler for families who have lost a loved one. We help thoughtful people achieve the peace of mind that comes with planning their personal legacy and passing on family harmony.