Medicaid can be very tricky when it comes to later-in-life and/or end-of-life expenses. While you would expect it to pay for your nursing care when the time comes, it will only do so if you have used up the majority of your individual resources. Therefore, it is imperative that you plan for your retirement nursing care early in life. If you have a loved one that will be depending on Medicaid to pay for their nursing care, there are a few things that you need to be aware of.
1. Not All Facilities Accept Medicaid
It is a common misconception that all nursing care facilities accept Medicaid. However, this is not a requirement. For the facilities that do accept Medicaid, most have a limited number of beds for patients with Medicaid insurance. So, make sure that you are well aware of all of the facts surrounding Medicaid insurance when you are talking to different facilities.
2. Eligibility Rules Vary by State
Like with most things, the rules regarding Medicaid eligibility and asset limitations will vary from one state to the next. As a general rule, you should be able to qualify for Medicaid and still keep a certain amount of assets, including your home. There are some states that follow the Supplemental Security Income rules. If this is the case, then you will only be permitted $2,000 in assets, apart from your property.
3. The Last Five Years Matter
The reason planning for the future is so important when it comes to your healthcare, especially when Medicaid is involved, is because the state will look at the previous five years when determining your eligibility. They will look into the assets that you have disposed of during this time, so be careful with the assets that you simply give away or sell at below market value to your heirs because it could delay your qualification for Medicaid.
Don't try to apply for Medicaid or get your finances in order alone. The process can be a bit complex, and it is always best to have someone at your side that understands the terminology and the process. Plus, the last thing that you need is to go through mountains of paperwork to find out that you did something wrong and you need to start all over.
So, with that being said, to ensure that you have your retirement health care in order from start to finish, it is important that you consult with a Medicaid specialist and/or lawyer.