You may be under the impression that Medicaid is not relevant to you because you are a middle-class individual without a great deal of financial need.
It is true that Medicaid is a need-based health insurance program that is jointly administered by the federal government along with each respective state government. Medicaid is a safety net for those with virtually no financial resources. This would include people of all ages.
If you have paid taxes all of your life as you have earned income you will accumulate enough retirement credits to qualify for the Medicare program when you reach the age of 65. If you are going to qualify for Medicare you may feel as though Medicaid will not be relevant to you as a senior citizen.
Long-Term Care Costs
All of the above makes sense on the surface, but there is the matter of long-term care costs to consider. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the majority of Americans will need long-term care eventually. Nursing homes and assisted living communities are very expensive, and Medicare does not pay for this type of care.
Nursing homes and assisted living communities provide custodial care rather than medical care. Medicare does not pay for custodial care. It will only assist with up to 100 days of convalescent care after surgery.
This is why Medicaid enters the picture. Medicaid will pay for long-term custodial care. However, to qualify you must somehow stay within the upper asset limits. The resource allowance for an applicant in New York State is $14,550.
In spite of this, most of the senior citizens that are receiving long-term care are enrolled in the Medicaid program. How can this be?
The answer is complicated. For one thing, everything that you own does not count when Medicaid is determining the extent of your assets. Your home does not count up to a particular equity limit. The vehicle that you use for transportation does not count, and your personal effects, including wedding and engagement rings and heirloom jewelry, are not considered to be countable assets.
Plus, if you are married your spouse could retain ownership of shared assets up to a particular limit without impacting your Medicaid eligibility.
Given the complexity of Medicaid rules and regulations it is difficult for the layperson to make the appropriate preparations without experienced legal counsel.
If you would like to learn more about Medicaid planning we have a ready resource available that you may find to be of value.
We have prepared a special report on the subject of Medicaid planning. The report is yours absolutely free of charge. To access your version of the report, click this link: Free Medicaid Planning Report.
Should you have further questions after reading the report, contact our firm to request a free consultation.