September 25, 2022
Medicaid is an assistance program offered by the federal government that is then administered on a state level. It was created to help those who are financially eligible by paying for the cost of long-term care support, and enables access to other healthcare and medical benefits. Medicaid is distributed as a needs-based program, so that means there are unyielding financial requirements that have to be met for someone to become eligible for this type of assistance. If you aren’t sure whether now is the time to start your retirement planning, consider the information below.
A frequent misconception about Medicaid is that once a loved one is receiving these benefits, that all of their needs will be paid for. But this is not the case, as Medicaid may not cover basic needs such as clothing, television, radio, private living space, eye care, dentistry, social activities, entertainment, and more. Due to Medicaid not covering expenses like these, you must have a plan in place beforehand. It can provide relief to the senior person and their family members if there is a fund already set up to pay for costs that are not covered by the Medicaid program.
Keep in mind that Medicaid and retirement planning can be confusing areas of the law, according to an elder law lawyer at Silverman Law Office, PLLC. Most lawyers will be generally informed about Medicaid basics, however, it is important to meet with a legal team that is experienced in handling this specific area of law. It is recommended that families meet with an elder law lawyer before submitting a Medicaid application. If the paperwork was sent without planning strategies and transfers having been done first, this can result in out-of-pocket money being wasted unnecessarily.
Consider the fact that around 2 out of every 3 people will need care in their senior years. Of course, no one wants to imagine that they will need this kind of added support, but the reality is that many of us will need it at one point or another. So if you or a relative is in their retirement years, then it’s a good idea to start estate planning if you have not already. Medicaid considers every gift and transfer made within five years of the application date. And since these programs can take time to process, you must begin planning early, much longer before you, your spouse, or another relative actually need the Medicaid assistance.
Planning for yours or your loved one’s senior years is not the most enjoyable task. But by taking steps now, it can prevent delays and other issues from arising in the future. With support from your lawyer, you can get all the advice you need and most pressing questions answered from a reliable source.