Posted By admin on January 25, 2014
Many senior citizens worry with the cost of medical care and services. Many healthcare plans that people had while working are either financially unavailable or no longer available to them. For that reason, many elderly folks turn toward the Medicaid program to give them some help with these expenses. However, qualifying for the Medicaid program is often difficult even when a person has limited means and assets.
Medicaid Eligibility and Qualifications
Now, the federal government is mostly responsible for the funding of the Medicaid program but every state is in charge of its own program. And, because of this, eligibility for the program varies from one state to another.
In every state, applicants must meet income and resource limits to qualify. Anything about these limits – income or resources – means a person will be denied benefits. Most elderly Medicaid applicants live on a fixed income, which means the income limit is not the issue. However, it’s the resource limit that bars many from getting the benefits.
For many states, the resource limit is $2,000. And, for the elderly, this low resource limit can be a real hindrance to them. After all, they spent their life working to purchase a home or put money aside to live after they retired. Signing the assets over to family members don’t work because the majority of states have the “look back” period where they can look as far back as five years for assets. If not admitted on the application, the state views it as Medicaid fraud.
There is several legal estate planning tools the elderly can use to qualify for Medicaid without losing all their assets. Of course, with careful planning, you can avoid any kind of Medicaid fraud. If it’s found that a person is being fraudulent on their application, it will be denied and possible criminal charges will be filed against the applicant.
If you believe you’ll need the Medicaid program in the future, be sure to talk with an estate planning lawyer today to learn how you can structure your estate so that you won’t lose your life-long, hard-earned assets and still qualify for the program.