Comparing Crisis and Long-Term Medicaid Planning

When you have an immediate or imminent need for long-term care, you likely need to establish eligibility for Medicaid quickly to avoid paying the full costs for those programs. This type of planning is often referred to as Medicaid crisis planning.

Pre-planning for Medicaid, on the other hand, is a long-term process that you start long before you need to consider how you will pay for long-term care. It is a good idea to start this type of planning as soon as possible so you can avoid having to scramble in a crisis. Nonetheless, you still have options even when you have an immediate need.

Timing is the most important difference between these two planning options. However, there are some other very important variances as well.

Asset Protection

In both types of planning, one of the primary goals is to protect your assets. How you go about doing that will depend on how quickly you need to take action.

To be eligible for Medicaid, your assets must be below a certain level. In long-term planning, you can create trusts and other asset protection mechanisms to keep certain assets out of the pool that is considered for Medicaid eligibility. In a crisis, you may need to “spend down” your assets to qualify for the program.

Careful Planning Versus Fast Thinking

The level of control that you have over the process will vary significantly between crisis planning and long-term planning. When you plan in advance, you have time to consider all of your options and weigh the pros and cons of various decisions. When you are in crisis, you do not have that luxury. Instead, you need to act quickly or face liquidating many of your assets to qualify for the program.

Considerations for Your Spouse

Long-term Medicaid planning can protect your spouse if you have to move into an assisted living community. For example, you can place some of your assets in trust, with both you and your spouse listed as the beneficiaries. Such an arrangement will ensure that the spouse living at home still has enough to satisfy his or her needs.

In crisis planning, you still have some options to protect your spouse, but they are not as extensive. Emergency planning also often robs you of the ability to take extra time to think through your choices carefully.

Legacy Planning Law Group Can Help

Whether you are planning far into the future or just a few months or weeks down the road, our team can help you get Medicaid coverage. Contact us to discuss your options. Remember, careful planning today can avoid a crisis in the future.

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.