By David J. Zumpano
Have you heard that if you need long-term care Medicaid can take your home? Have you been told to give your assets away to protect them, and have you heard that if you give them away, you have to wait five years to qualify? None of this is true.
The truth is Medicaid is a complex set of laws, rules, exceptions, and even exceptions to the exceptions, but simply stated Medicaid applies to every single person differently depending on 12 key factors.
For example, your home is exempt, whether you’re married or single, except if you are single, Medicaid has a right to take your home after you die to be reimbursed the cost it expended during your lifetime. If you’re married, Medicaid can’t.
Further, if you give your assets away, it doesn’t mean you won’t qualify for Medicaid. Depending on how the 12 key factors apply to you, you may be able to qualify immediately for Medicaid, even if you have assets in excess of $500,000.
If you do have too many assets, then there is a proper way to ensure you qualify for Medicaid in the shortest time possible while ensuring you protect what you have worked a lifetime to have.
Medicaid eligibility is different for each person and rarely requires a 60-month wait. It’s important you understand how the 12 Medicaid factors apply to you. Unfortunately, many people attempt to plan based on what they hear and actually disqualify themselves when they otherwise would have been eligible. Get informed about your options while you’re healthy, and if you’re not, it’s still not too late. Proper planning can protect 60 to 80 percent of your assets even after you enter a nursing home. It’s not risky — it’s actually the law. Learn how the 12 factors apply to you and if you already qualify.
Talk with an estate planning attorney to ensure your Medicaid planning is done properly and learn how the 12 Medicaid key factors apply to you.
David J. Zumpano is an attorney and a certified public accountant (CPA). He operates Estate Planning Law Center. He can be reached at 315-793-3622.