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How Medicaid planning can help you qualify for benefits

On Behalf of | Nov 2, 2023 | Elder Law

Medicaid is a program funded by federal and state governments to help people with limited financial resources cover their medical expenses.

While Medicaid offers financial relief for those in need, qualifying can be complex. The program has strict guidelines concerning income and assets.

Planning your future

Medicaid planning is the process of arranging assets and income to qualify for support in the future. In New York, adults over 65 must meet certain financial requirements to receive Medicaid coverage. The state can examine your income, including Social Security payments, to ensure you meet specific economic thresholds. Your assets, such as cash and property, can also come under scrutiny.

Typically, New York officials can review transactions made during the 60 months prior to your Medicaid application. If you are applying for home care, the look-back period is 30 months. Major financial gifts or transfers below market value made during the look-back period could disqualify you from benefits. Being aware of these rules can improve your Medicaid planning strategy, especially if you are aiming to secure long-term care benefits.

Without proper planning, some families deplete their savings to pay for medical or long-term care expenses. Medicaid planning can protect a family’s financial health while ensuring access to necessary medical services. In addition, some strategies may help applicants qualify for benefits they otherwise would not receive.

Assets and eligibility

Your income is a primary factor in determining Medicaid eligibility. If your earnings exceed the threshold, you might not qualify for Medicaid. Income planning involves rearranging finances to meet the income requirements set by the state. Strategies include splitting payments between spouses and using trusts to redirect income.

Assets such as cash, real estate and investments are also important for Medicaid eligibility. There are asset limits that applicants must not exceed. You can employ strategies to reduce countable assets without breaking any laws. For example, converting countable assets into exempt assets can help you legally qualify for Medicaid.

Medicaid planning is about more than just qualifying for health care benefits. It allows you to protect your hard-earned money and ensure a financial legacy for your family.