Gardner Medicaid Planning Attorneys Answer Your Common Medicaid Planning Questions
Clarifying the need for developing a plan to apply for Medicaid
If you think planning for healthcare is planning to be hurt or ill, you're right. We get hurt and contract illnesses throughout our lives. And the healthcare necessary to get us back on track and to work gets more expensive by the minute. As we get older, it takes longer to recuperate from injuries, illnesses can become catastrophic, and long-term care may become a necessity. To help defray the costs, look to public assistance, such as Medicaid.
The skilled Kansas Medicaid planning attorneys at Stockton and Stern LLC have extensive knowledge and experience in Medicaid planning and know how to best prepare documents and structure assets to help you qualify for the program. The best time to consider public healthcare assistance is before you need it.
To explain the need for Medicaid planning , we've compiled commonly asked questions and answers:
- Why not apply for Medicare?
- What is Medicaid planning?
- What's hard about applying for Medicaid?
- How does a trust protect my income from the Medicaid program requirements?
- How can I convert assets, so Medicare won't count them against my application?
Why not apply for Medicare?
At 65 years old, people must enroll in Medicare. Medicare is a federal health insurance program that helps pay medical expenses for older adults. However, you may need financial assistance for healthcare costs long before you're 65. Even when you turn 65, Medicare may not meet all your needs, e.g., long-term healthcare, nursing homes, and at-home care. Medicaid, on the other hand, is a federal and state assistance program that helps pay the healthcare costs of parents and caretakers in Kansas regardless of their age.
What is Medicaid planning?
Medicaid planning comprises a wide variety of services provided by various professionals, even volunteers. Planning for Medicaid includes any assistance provided to a potential Medicaid applicant to prepare for their Medicaid application. Medicaid planning require you to collect and prepare documents. To qualify, you may need to restructure your financial assets. It all depends on how close your income and resources are to exceeding the program's requirements.
What's hard about applying for Medicaid?
The hard part about Medicaid planning is when an applicant's monthly income and the value of his or her assets come close to the program's financial limits. Income can be protected in trusts and assets can be converted into resources the Medicaid program won't count towards meeting eligibility requirements. But these strategies are hard and complex transactions, requiring the knowledge and skill of savvy Medicaid and estate planning attorneys.
How does a trust protect my income from the Medicaid program requirements?
Pooled or Miller's trusts are irrevocable trusts that lock up income for the stated purpose of a trust, such as paying healthcare costs. Once created and funded, an irrevocable trust is just that. It can't be undone except in extraordinary conditions.
How can I convert assets, so Medicare won't count them against my application?
Converting assets into resources that Medicare will not count against you, i.e., non-countable assets, is changing an asset that can potentially pay for healthcare into an asset that can't. For example, taking cash from a savings account, a countable asset, and fixing up the home, a non-countable asset. Another example, buying a new car with handicap access. Medicare does not count one automobile, but it will count the value of a second or third vehicle. And remember, like irrevocable trusts, asset conversions are one-way transactions until you turn the converted asset to cash. The additional cash is income that Medicare will consider for your application.
Contact our knowledgeable Gardner Medicaid planning lawyers today for a free consultation
Creating trusts and converting assets are complex transactions. The work requires attorneys who are well-versed in Kansas law on capital gains, personal and real property, income tax, and more. At Stockton & Stern LLC, our attorneys are leaders in their field and highly-skilled in Medicaid and estate planning to protect income and assets. Our goal is helping you qualify for Medicaid and ensuring your family's financial future. Call us at (913) 856-2828 or contact us online.