Key Things to Know about Medicaid Spend Down

Annual nursing home costs on the rise according to the New York Department of Health. As a result, the costs for nursing home care is beyond the financial resources of many New York residents. To pay the costs of Medicaid, many elderly individuals are dependent on Medicaid, which pays for residential nursing services and assisted living facilities.


To qualify for Medicaid, it often becomes essential for a person to spend down their savings until they qualify to receive Medicaid. Early planning and the assistance of a knowledgeable estate planning attorney are the best way to make sure that you qualify for Medicaid.


This article reviews some of the other important pieces of advice that a person should take into consideration when planning to spend down assets.


# 1 – Adequately Plan to Spend Down


People who want to engage in the spend down process should begin planning immediately. This is because when the government determines a person’s eligibility, the government must examine all property transfers within the past five years.


Some of the types of assets that most commonly affect Medicaid eligibility include bank accounts, IRAs, real property, retirement accounts, and stocks. By taking everything into consideration now when creating a spend down plan, you can avoid uncertainty and uneasiness later about how spend down will occur.


# 2 – Consider Transferring Ownership of your Home


Even though the value of a person’s home does not count against asset limits for

Medicaid, the government is still able to file a claim against the Medicaid applicant’s home to obtain reimbursement for medical costs.


When considering how to transfer your assets, it is wise to carefully consider transferring assets to children or relatives. In some cases, transferring to a child or relative might mean that they immediately sell your home, which might not be something you want to happen.


# 3 – Consider the Possibility of an Irrevocable Trust


Establishing an irrevocable trust can help address some of the Medicaid obstacles that can arise. For one, assets that wother disqualify a person from Medicaid eligibility can be transferred to an irrevocable trust instead.  


Because these trusts are irrevocable, assets that are placed in the trust no longer are owed by the person who placed them there. As a result, it is critical to make sure that a person will no longer need assets before placing them in an irrevocable trust.


# 4 – Obtain the Assistance of an Estate Planning Expert


There are a complex number of regulations that determine Medicaid eligibility. Unfortunately, there are also a number of myths that exist about qualifying for Medicaid. To successfully navigate these matters, it is often critical to obtain the assistance of an experienced estate planning lawyer who has experience and knowledge involving Medicaid.


Speak with an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer

There are a number of complex factors to consider when engaged in estate planning. If you or a loved has questions about the spend down process or any other part of estate planning, it can greatly help to speak with an experienced attorney. Contact Ettinger Estate Planning today to schedule an initial consultation.

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