When you’re planning ahead for your retirement years you should know everything that you need to know about the government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid in Indiana, that are available for seniors. You should also consider the twilight years that follow the active retirement years if you want to be comprehensively prepared.
Some people are confused about Medicare and Medicaid. They are not different facets of the same program. In this post we would like to provide some clarity.
Medicare in Indiana Is Not Need-Based
Medicare is not something that you become qualified for based on financial need. As you are working or earning income as a self-employed individual you are paying Medicare taxes, and if you paid into the program sufficiently you will be eligible for Medicare coverage.
At the present time the age of Medicare eligibility is 65. People do consistently talk about raising this age to cut costs, so this is something to keep an eye on as you are looking forward toward your senior years.
There are different parts to Medicare. Medicare Part A is devoted to hospital stays, and you have to pay a deductible. Part B is devoted to outpatient visits to hospitals and appointments with doctors. You have to pay a monthly premium to obtain this coverage. Most people have this removed from their Social Security checks once they become eligible for Social Security.
If you have to reside in a nursing home or an assisted-living facility as a senior citizen you are not going to get any help from Medicare. This comes as a surprise to many people but it is a fact of life.
Long-term care is very expensive, and these costs are on the rise so the matter is quite important to anyone who wants to be prepared for the future.
Medicaid in Indiana Program
Unlike Medicare the Medicaid program is need-based. In general if you have assets that are considered to be countable that exceed $1,500 in value you cannot qualify for Medicaid.
Another difference between Medicaid and Medicare is that people of all ages can qualify for Medicaid. You don’t have to be at least 65 years of age, but you could potentially qualify for Medicaid if you were 65 or over.
Because Medicare doesn’t pay for long-term care many senior citizens do what it takes to qualify for Medicaid to pay for nursing home or assisted living community expenses. This can involve divesting yourself of assets in advance of applying for the program.
However, there is a five-year look back period. You are penalized if you give away assets within five years of applying for Medicaid, and this penalty would delay your eligibility date.
If you would like to learn how you may be able to keep a significant store of assets in the family while aiming toward Medicaid eligibility contact our firm to set up a free Medicaid planning consultation.
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.