Do you know your rights and how to protect your assets when it comes to Medicaid? Many seniors don’t. As people are living longer and requiring long-term care, Medicaid Asset Protection has become ever more important.
The Need for Long Term Care
More than two-thirds of our Florida seniors will need some form of long-term care. This may involve in-home, assisted living, or nursing home. Studies have shown that long-term care lasts an average of three years, though twenty percent of seniors will need long-term care for five years or more.
Who will pay for long-term care?
There are several third-party payer options for long-term care:
- Medicare: Most seniors have Medicare coverage as their primary payer of health care costs. But Medicare has very limited rules for long-term stays in a nursing home.
- Medicare Supplemental Insurance: Depending on the policy, there may be some coverage available for nursing care.
- Long-Term Care Insurance: Insurance companies jumped in with additional policies for long-term care coverage. But, these are extremely expensive if not purchased when young, and few seniors are covered by these.
- Medicaid: Often referred to as America’s health care safety net, it is an effective alternative source of long-term care for many seniors.
Regardless of how much or how long the care you or your parents need, this will be a financial drain on assets. Getting Medicaid benefits while protecting as many assets as possible becomes an important, though complex, balancing act. Medicaid has extremely complicated financial qualification rules that may prevent you or your parents from qualifying for the program.
Medicaid: How it Works
To qualify for Medicaid, you can only have low income, a small amount of assets (money or property) or both. In so many ways, it’s the reverse of what many seniors thought they would want for the end of their days. But, with years of long-term care draining assets, it becomes impossible to cover these mounting expenses.
Medicaid requires recipients to spend their own money on long-term care before it steps in to cover expenses. Giving away money or property to family members in an attempt to meet the low income/low asset amounts and to show Medicaid you don’t have assets will trigger Medicaid’s “look back” process. This includes a penalty period during which you will be disqualified from the program.
So How Do You Protect Your Assets
At the Law Offices of David F. Andersen, P.A., our experienced Miami estate planning and elder care attorneys use several effective strategies for protecting our senior clients’ assets while still allowing them to meet Medicaid eligibility. From creating asset protection trusts, to private annuities and promissory notes, setting up caregiver agreements, and using other legal instruments, these are among the ways we help clients effectively deal with Medicaid. We are able to help families find their way through the qualification maze and to qualify for Medicaid sooner rather than later.
After all, our goal is to have our clients have the best possible care with the best quality of life for many years to come.
David F. Anderson attorney at law located in Miami, Florida specializes in Medicaid planning, Asset protection, long term care, Family law, Condominium law, Corporate structures, Residential real estate, Commercial real estate, Title insurance, Bankruptcy, Mortgage law, Association Law throughout Miami-Dade County, Florida and the surrounding area.