For many senior residents, the expense of medical care and services is a huge issue. Many elderly Americans turn to the Medicaid program for support.
Although the Medicaid program is largely funded by the federal government, each specific state administers their own program. Since the private states run their own Medicaid programs, the eligibility requirements might vary somewhat from one state to the next. In all states, nevertheless, there are both income and resources limits that apply to all applicants. An applicant who has income above the limit or who has actually resources valued above the limit will be denied Medicaid benefits. For numerous senior candidates who depend on a set income, the income limitation might not be a problem. The resources limit, on the hand, can be a bar to benefits.
In lots of states, the resources limitation is as low as $2000. For an elderly individual who has worked all his or her life to purchase a house or reserved something for the golden years, a $2000 limit on assets can be an issue. Just signing over properties to a relative will not work because the majority of states have a “look back” duration. Any properties transferred during that period– as long as five years– must be disclosed on an application or it might be considered Medicaid scams.
There are legal estate planning tools that can be used to assist an elderly individual get approved for Medicaid without losing all of his or her assets, but cautious planning is necessary to avoid being accused of Medicaid fraud. Not just will an application be denied if it looks like though a candidate is concealing assets or not being forthright about assets, however criminal charges for Medicaid scams could also be levied versus the applicant.
If you believe that you might need Medicaid protection in the future, make the effort now to seek advice from your estate planning attorney about how to structure your estate in such a way that will qualify you for the program without causing you to lose the possessions you have worked your whole life to get.