Many senior citizens need long-term care at some point. Some senior citizens do not have family members who can give them the kind of care they need, and because of that as well as many other factors, they will need nursing home care.
But nursing home care and other long-term care arrangements are expensive. Medicaid can help fund these things, but you must meet the financial qualifications. Estate planning is critical for many people to be able to qualify. At Heritage Law Office, our estate planning attorney in Wisconsin will walk you through the estate planning process and help you begin planning for Medicaid early so that you and your spouse will qualify if or when the time comes and you need the help. Call 414-253-8500 or send us a message to schedule a free consultation today.
What is Medicaid?
Medicaid is a federal program that provides healthcare coverage to individuals as well as families that are low income. Costs of this program are typically covered by a combination of federal and state funding. Services are provided to those with limited financial means so that they can obtain the medical care they need with limited out-of-pocket costs.
Medicaid also provides coverage to disabled people in some situations. It can assist the elderly with paying Medicare premiums.
Planning for Medicaid in Wisconsin
Before submitting an application for Medicaid, many people go through a process known as Medicaid planning. Medicaid planning is assessing a potential applicant's ability to receive Medicaid and taking steps to improve their chances of receiving it.
Why People Plan for Medicaid
There are multiple reasons why people engage in Medicaid planning in order to qualify for the program. Three common reasons are:
- To obtain coverage for the cost of long-term care that they would not otherwise be able to afford;
- To preserve assets that may otherwise become part of Medicaid's estate recovery program; and
- Because the Medicaid application process can be confusing, getting assistance from someone who understands how it works can prove very beneficial in the long run.
Medicaid planning benefits people who really need the services provided but fear they may not qualify. If you do not have the financial resources or family members who are able to care for you when it becomes harder for you to do it yourself, you should speak to an attorney to plan your estate. Qualifying for Medicaid can be a big help just when you need it.
Medicaid Eligibility & Coverage in Wisconsin
Medicaid planning exists to provide medical coverage to those people who need it most. Following are some of the main qualifications that must be met.
Income is one of the primary factors considered in a Medicaid eligibility determination. For most children, pregnant women, parents, and adults, their income must be below a certain threshold. This amount is calculated using taxable income and tax filing relationships.
There are cases where people who wish to qualify for Medicaid give their possessions to their children or other family members so that they may qualify for benefits. There are rules established to prevent this from happening, and it may not be in your best interest to give away your property. Thus, the reason it is important to speak with an estate planning attorney in Wisconsin.
Non-Income Based Eligibility
There are ways to qualify for Medicaid even if you are unable to qualify under the income requirements. Blindness, disability, or age (over the age of 65) are other ways to qualify. Veterans may also qualify for Medicaid benefits.
Coverage Services Provided by Medicaid
Federal law mandates that certain services be covered by Medicaid, while other services are decided by each state. Typically, Medicaid covers the following:
- Inpatient and Outpatient Hospital Visits
- Home Health Services
- Physician Services
- X-Ray Services
- Laboratory Services
You will need to check with your state to determine what other services may be covered.
How a Medicaid Attorney in Wisconsin Can Help
If you or a loved one is in need of the long-term care that Medicaid helps cover, but you are unsure if you will be able to qualify, a Medicaid attorney in your area can help. They will know what the threshold amount is for qualification. If your income exceeds that amount, they will be able to work with you to formulate a plan to help you become qualified. One of the ways to accomplish the latter is through shielding your assets so they are no longer considered when your financial situation is assessed to determine Medicaid eligibility.
Contact an Estate Planning Lawyer in Wisconsin for Medicaid Planning Today
At Heritage Law Office, our estate planning lawyer understands the importance of Medical eligibility for so many seniors who need long-term care. Unfortunately, so many people learn about estate planning for Medicaid when it is too late. Start early to avoid future problems and make sure you qualify for Medicaid when you most need it. Contact us either by using our online form or calling us directly at 414-253-8500. We will schedule a free consultation and help you get started on Medicaid planning today.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is Medicaid Planning?
Medicaid planning involves the assessment of a potential applicant's eligibility for Medicaid and strategizing ways to enhance their chances of qualifying. This process is important for those who may require long-term care in the future but might not meet the stringent financial criteria set by Medicaid. It involves the legal and ethical redistribution of assets to meet Medicaid's eligibility requirements without sacrificing the individual's quality of life.
2. How can an Estate Planning Attorney Assist with Medicaid Planning?
Estate planning attorneys can offer invaluable assistance in Medicaid planning. They possess a comprehensive understanding of the eligibility rules and can devise strategies to protect the client's assets while enabling them to qualify for Medicaid. This could involve techniques such as creating specific trusts or executing asset transfers under specific circumstances. The attorney can also help navigate the application process to ensure everything is completed accurately and efficiently.
3. What Factors Determine Medicaid Eligibility?
Medicaid eligibility is primarily determined by the applicant's income. For most groups including children, pregnant women, parents, and adults, their income must be below a specific threshold calculated using taxable income and tax filing relationships. In addition to income, certain conditions such as disability, blindness, or being above the age of 65 can contribute to eligibility. Each state may have specific qualifications and requirements as well.
4. Can I Qualify for Medicaid if I Exceed the Income Limit?
Yes, there are ways to qualify for Medicaid even if your income exceeds the limit. This involves strategic Medicaid planning, often facilitated by an estate planning attorney, to legally structure your assets in a way that you meet Medicaid's financial eligibility criteria. Strategies might involve creating trusts, making certain kinds of transfers, or using other legal methods to protect your assets while qualifying for Medicaid.
5. When Should I Start Medicaid Planning?
The best time to start Medicaid planning is now. It's beneficial to start early, ideally before long-term care is needed. The process can be complex and often requires time to implement the appropriate strategies effectively. Starting early provides ample time for planning and ensures you're prepared for the future. Involving an estate planning attorney early in the process also ensures that all actions taken are in compliance with the current laws and regulations.