Part of making a comprehensive, effective estate plan is figuring out how best to pay for long-term care, should the need arise, while preserving your savings and other assets for your loved ones. Medicaid is a common option for covering the expense of long-term care, but for many people, qualifying for Medicaid takes some careful planning.
So, what exactly is Medicaid?
Medicaid is a need-based government health insurance program. It’s federally-established, but it’s administered on the state level, which means that Medicaid rules vary from state to state. So, Medicaid planning strategies that worked for your sister-in-law in Ohio might not be effective here in Texas.
The Medicaid program offers far-ranging health coverage, including both inpatient and outpatient services, and prescription drugs. You can be covered by Medicaid and Medicare at the same time. In many ways – especially when it comes to long-term care – Medicaid picks up where Medicare leaves off. In fact, Medicaid can pay your Medicare premium and deductibles.
In order to qualify for Medicaid, you have to meet certain income and asset requirements – in short, you can’t earn or own too much. This doesn’t mean, however, that you have to be completely destitute in order to qualify for Medicaid. And, if you work with an experienced attorney and start planning far enough in advance, it’s possible to qualify for Medicaid while still providing for your family members.