If you are thinking about the future and how you can plan wisely for life after retirement or incapacity, one area you may well be interested in is long-term care Medicaid. The benefits available through this program are often crucial for recipients. These include paying for long-term care expenses in a nursing home or assisted living facility without going broke. But, navigating the eligibility process can be quite difficult and some actions taken or not taken can jeopardize these benefits.
Thus, if you want financial support through Medicaid, it can be wise to consider some dos and don’ts of Medicaid planning.
Things you can do to improve planning
One of the most important steps you can take regarding Medicaid planning is starting it early. When you do this, there may be more planning options available. Although there are strategies which can be used even in crisis, you may not be able to preserve as many assets.
Other steps you can take to improve your Medicaid planning include:
- Assessing various planning options, including trusts and spousal transfers
- Educating yourself on your income and financial needs
- Consulting an attorney to put your plans in a legally enforceable document
- Reviewing state Medicaid limits on income and assets
These measures can help you identify the solutions that best fit your situation and minimize eligibility obstacles.
What to avoid in your Medicaid planning
If you want to preserve your assets and still be eligible for Medicaid, you will want to avoid some common mistakes.
These mistakes can include:
- Failing to plan far enough in advance, including granting Medicaid planning authority in your powers of attorney
- Providing false information regarding your finances
- Relying on neighbors and other non-professionals advice concerning Medicaid eligibility
- Making financial transfers or gifts without considering the potential impact on eligibility
People who make these mistakes can face consequences like extended ineligibility periods, fines and possible exclusion from the program. Further, people can wind up spending down most of their assets to qualify instead of utilizing effective planning solutions that can save a significant portion of their assets.
Why solid planning is essential in the first place
These tips can help you create a plan that makes it easier to collect Medicaid benefits when you need them. They can also help minimize confusion during a tumultuous time and preserve the legacy you hope to leave behind.
When people do not have a solid plan in place, they put themselves and their families in a stressful, expensive position. Creating a Medicaid plan now allows people to minimize the financial implications of long-term care by making it easier to qualify for this valuable program.