Medicaid Planning: When Should I Start?

We receive many inquiries at our law firm from concerned individuals and loved ones wondering when it is time to begin Medicaid planning.

It is never too early or too late to start discussing the options available with Medicaid. However, for those looking for a general rule, it is ideal to begin Medicaid planning approximately five years ahead of the time you estimate needing it. Doing so will give you a clear idea of whether you will qualify for Medicaid based on your financial status.

To qualify for Medicaid, a person must apply and meet the criteria for the limitations of assets an individual may own as well as limitations on income. Additionally, when transferring assets, the process must comply with the five-year look-back period.

For eligible individuals, Medicaid provides payment for institutional and community-based care by participating institutions and practitioners. It is a needs-based program available to anyone who meets the income and resource limitations. Medicaid can cover nursing home care along with other medical care such as home care, acute hospital care, visits to physicians, and pharmacy prescriptions.

Why Planning Ahead Is Valuable

Planning in advance will allow you to develop a better idea of whether you qualify for Medicaid and give you time to manage your funds. It will also allow you to avoid any potential legal repercussions when it is time to apply for Medicaid.

Medicaid planning can involve structuring financial resources and moving assets to qualify for Medicaid. New York residents who work with trusted attorneys for Medicaid planning can have the benefit of receiving Medicaid benefits without having to sell, give away, or spend their assets.

Qualifying for Medicaid coverage can allow an individual to receive the long-term healthcare they may need while eliminating the exorbitant costs often associated with that care. The ever-increasing medical costs of both in-home and nursing home care can easily leave a person penniless if they must pay for that care themselves. Planning and successfully qualifying for Medicaid can ensure your hard-earned assets are protected and available for your children and grandchildren.

Who Would Benefit from Medicaid Planning?

Medicaid planning can be for people with more income and assets than would typically be permissible to qualify for Medicaid and wish to preserve their assets and avoid paying out-of-pocket long-term healthcare costs.

This can often include middle-class people with chronic medical conditions requiring treatment previously covered under their employer’s medical insurance plan. It can also include individuals who may have been healthy previously but begin to navigate new medical challenges and diagnoses as they age. 

Senior citizens considering nursing home care in the present or future would also benefit from Medicaid planning services. Medicare does not pay for long-term care, so Medicaid is required for individuals who may receive such care.

Additionally, any person with a physical or mental disability, or a family member upon whom such an individual depends, should complete Medicaid planning with the help of a knowledgeable professional.

What Are the Options for Medicaid Planning?

Medicaid planning should be discussed with a trusted attorney, but generally, the following options are considered:

  • Transferring disallowed assets to family members
  • Setting up a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust for disallowed assets
  • Setting up a Pooled Income Trust for disallowed income
  • Setting up a special needs Trust for those with physical or mental incapacity

Contact Our Experienced New York Law Firm
Whether for yourself or for a loved one, Medicaid planning and other facets of elder law planning can be overwhelming and emotionally taxing at best. The trusted attorneys at Levin Law Group in New York can advise you on the Medicaid planning options available to you.

Our attorneys can help you navigate the confusing statutory requirements of Medicaid eligibility. In addition to creating a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust and a Pooled Income Trust, our Medicaid lawyers also assist with Medicaid Applications. We also offer Medicaid Packages for a combination of Medicaid services.

It is never too early to begin the process of Medicaid planning. Depending on your situation, steps can be taken now to preserve as many of your assets as the law allows. The best step forward is to talk to an elder law attorney to determine your options.

Levin Law Group will work with you to establish a plan that suits the needs of you and your loved ones. To learn more about how our law firm can help you with Medicaid planning, reach out to our skilled New York Medicaid planning attorneys at 800-517-5240 or schedule a free consultation.