Because of the fact that so many people are seeing their senior years start to come into focus there are a lot of questions about government programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. We would like to look at three of the more commonly asked questions about the Medicaid program as it applies to senior citizens.
1.) I have worked all my life and I will be qualified for Medicare. I’ve heard Medicaid is relevant to seniors. Why is this?
The reason why Medicaid is relevant to many seniors is because Medicare does not pay for long-term care. It will only cover up to 100 days of convalescent care. Medicare will not pay for an extended-stay in an assisted-living community or a nursing home, but Medicaid will assist if you can qualify.
2.) Medicaid is a need-based program if I’m not mistaken. Are there upper resource limits?
Yes, generally speaking there is a $1,500 limit in Indiana on the amount of countable assets that a Medicaid recipient can retain.
3.) I have more than $1,500 in assets, and I own a home. I assume I could not qualify for Medicaid, is this correct?
No, this assumption is not entirely correct. For one thing, your home (up to a certain equity limit) does not count when Medicaid is calculating your resources.
It is also possible to “spend down” in anticipation of applying for Medicaid. This would involve divesting yourself of assets, perhaps by giving them to your children or setting up a special type of Trust.
However, there is a five year look-back period. If you give away assets within five years of applying for Medicaid you are penalized, and your eligibility will be delayed. Please give our office a call because there are many options that are available for you to become eligible.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.