Since few people in Massachusetts could afford the cost of living in a long-term care facility such as a nursing home on their own, long-term care planning is necessary. This is a plan for qualifying for financial assistance from MassHealth, the state’s version of Medicaid, without having to give up all your assets first.
There are a lot of misconceptions about MassHealth planning that, unfortunately, cause people to make mistakes. Or worse, not even look into it, and then end up unable to afford quality care when they or their spouse needs it. Here are some common myths — and the facts — about MassHealth planning.
I’ve waited too long, and now it’s too late to plan
It’s never too late to do MassHealth planning. At any stage of your life, there are things you and your attorney can do to help reduce your financial burden.
If I use MassHealth to pay, I won’t be able to live in a top nursing home
Nearly every nursing home facility in Massachusetts accepts MassHealth.
My house is protected from MassHealth lien and estate recovery because it is in a trust
Not necessarily. If your house is in a revocable trust for estate tax and probate purposes, it is not shielded from MassHealth lien and estate recovery purposes. Usually, it takes an irrevocable trust designed specifically for MassHealth purposes to protect your home from the MassHealth qualification process.
Talk to an attorney for more information
MassHealth planning is fairly specific to each person’s or couple’s circumstances. An attorney who practices elder law and long-term care planning can explain what your best strategy would be.