Common Questions about Medicaid Planning for Nursing Home Care

Common Questions about Medicaid Planning for Nursing Home CareMany elderly individuals rely on Medicaid for nursing home care and other health care coverage. While Medicaid offers many a valuable resource to cover medical costs, proper planning is important to avoid adversely affecting one’s net worth, financial legacy, and eligibility for these important benefits. Our Santa Fe Medicare Planning Attorneys have provided answers to common questions about Medicaid planning.

What is involved in Medicaid planning?

Medicaid planning involves employing estate planning tools like living trusts to protect assets and income when one’s eligibility for Medicaid is considered. While Medicaid can pay for the considerable cost of nursing home care, Medicaid planning provides a means for an individual to avoid needing to spend down his assets to qualify for coverage.

What happens if my spouse needs Medicaid coverage to pay for nursing home care?

This issue impacts the lives of many elderly couples when either spouse requires the level of care available in a skilled nursing facility. Our Santa Fe Attorneys may be able to set up a trust to protect the assets that you need to continue living independently while also preserving your spouse’s financial eligibility for Medicaid.

How does Medicaid differ from Medicare?

Medicaid is a needs based program that has strict financial eligibility criteria based on minimal assets and low income. By contrast, Medicare is age based health insurance for those 65 and above.

Why do I need legal advice to obtain Medicaid coverage when it merely entails completing an application?

The process of completing the application and paperwork is something that many people do on their own. However, our estate planning lawyers work with our clients to develop an estate plan which will allow our clients to maximize the assets available to their spouse as well as the legacy left to beneficiaries.

Can the government force an applicant to sell the home that a spouse lives in to qualify for Medicaid benefits?

If your spouse needs to move into a skilled nursing facility, your residence generally will not be considered for purposes of determining financial eligibility. Even if you are not married and no spouse lives in your home, we may be able to implement a plan to protect your home from being considered for needs testing purposes. Proper Medicaid planning is important to ensure that the value of one’s home does not become available for means testing if one’s spouse passes away.

Is an Adult Child Liable for Debts of a Parent Who Passes Away?

The above information is provided to illustrate general principles of law and should not be interpreted as a specific legal opinion on an individual case. You should contact experienced legal counsel to get specific legal advice that is based upon your specific circumstances.

If you have questions about Medicaid planning for nursing home care in Santa Fe, our New Mexico Attorneys at Life Leaf Legal Group, PC offer a free consultation in our centrally located offices in Santa Fe and Albuquerque so that we can discuss your specific situation. Call us today to schedule your free consultation at (505) 856-3591 to learn about your rights and options.

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