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Options to consider in Medicaid planning

Long-term care is expensive. Yet, so many Colorado families find themselves caught between needing long-term care services and not knowing how they can afford them. Assistance is available, although without prior Medicaid planning, it may seem out of reach.

In many instances, one spouse is in need of long-term care while the other spouse is still able to care for herself/himself. The couple has assets, but these assets can be a part of the overall problem. One spouse will need funds to be able to remain independent, yet the other will need funds for long-term care. Unless the family is able to pay for long-term care out-of-pocket, they may need to look to Medicaid for assistance.

In order to qualify for Medicaid assistance, the individual is limited by his/her assets. Some families find that it is necessary to spend down some of the individual's assets in order to meet qualification requirements. This can be done by purchasing items that the individual may need such as a wheelchair, etc. While this may help with meeting Medicaid requirements, it will also leave little for the other spouse to live on.

There are various options that the Colorado family will want to pursue. One such option is a Medicaid-compliant annuity. This type of annuity differs from other types in that it is immediately payable. Simply put, the family purchases the annuity with cash and then it provides income over time for the spouse who is still able to care for herself/himself.  It has to be done just right, however, and there are numerous issue which need to be considered and explored in the Medicaid planning process.

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