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Helping People Age with Dignity

Advanced planning on long-term-care-related Medicaid issues

A nursing home stay is something that is in many people’s future. What happens in regards to nursing home care during a person’s elderly years can be very impactful. Now, a person doesn’t have to wait until they are in their elderly years or until they are sure they will in fact need nursing home care to make preparations regarding impactful nursing-home-care-related issues. Rather, they can engage in advanced planning on these issues, and such planning can prove very beneficial.

Among the nursing-home-care-related issues individuals can prepare for are financial issues connected to such care. This includes issues regarding Medicaid eligibility.

When individuals lack sufficient assets to afford needed nursing home care on their own, they might be able to qualify for Medicaid benefits to help cover the costs.

Now, eligibility for such benefits is a very complex thing, with it and the strategies aimed at bringing a person into Medicaid eligibility having the potential to involve and touch on all sorts of intricate issues, including issues regarding: asset limits for eligibility, timeframes related to asset transfers, the financial situation of one’s spouse, possible tax implications, passing assets on to loved ones and potential future benefits-related claw-backs after one’s death.

There are a range of different advanced planning mechanisms, including Medicaid–planning-related trusts, that may be able to help a person with addressing these issues, promoting their overall goals regarding Medicaid-related matters and trying to make potential future Medicaid eligibility matters for them go more smoothly.

Now, if a person fails to engage in advanced planning on Medicaid-related issues and other long-term care-related financial issues, and they do discover they will need nursing home care, they are not without options. However, their options might be much more limited than if they had planned in advance, there are certain goals they may no longer be able to achieve and addressing the key issues they are facing in relation to the care could be more difficult than if advanced preparations had been made.

So, it is never too early to start thinking about planning for potential future nursing home care needs. Advanced planning regarding nursing home care, including advanced planning regarding Medicaid eligibility issues, is among the important preparations that skilled elder law attorneys can assist individuals with.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, “What to Consider If You May Depend on Medicaid for Nursing Care,” Teresa Mears, June 9, 2016

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