When most people think of creating a comprehensive estate plan in the state of Illinois they imagine creating a plan that will provide the framework for a division of their assets when they die. While this is certainly the cornerstone of an estate plan, most people choose to include a variety of other components in their estate plan as well. Medicaid planning, for example, is often a critical edition to an overall estate plan. Because people often put off creating a comprehensive estate plan a common question we hear is “is it too late to create a Medicaid plan in Geneseo IL?”
To understand why this question comes up so frequently it is necessary to understand what a Medicaid plan in Geneseo IL is and why you, or a loved one, may need one someday. Most people understand the need for health insurance coverage, yet many people are unaware of the limitations of the health insurance coverage that they have. Many employer-sponsored insurance plans, for example, terminate when you reach retirement age. Those plans that provide continued coverage rarely include long-term care benefits. In case you are planning on Medicare covering long-term care costs should you incur them, think again. The Medicare program does not cover the costs of a stay in a long-term care facility. With the average cost of a year’s stay in a long-term care facility approaching $100,000 it should be clear why it is important to have a healthcare plan that will cover these costs. You can purchase a long-term care insurance policy; however, many people either cannot afford to do so or do not think about the need for one until it is too late. This is where Medicaid planning becomes important.
The good news is that the Medicaid program does offer coverage for long-term care. The bad news is that unlike Medicare, which is an entitlement program, not everyone automatically qualifies for Medicaid when they reach age 65. Eligibility for Medicaid benefits is based on an applicant’s income and resources. Exceeding the income or resources limit can disqualify you from the program. It is also not an option to simply transfer income and/or assets when you determine that you are in need of Medicaid because there is a “look back” period.
Its the “look back” that causes many people to ask if it is too late to create a Medicaid plan in Geneseo IL. While it is always better to plan ahead to ensure that you will qualify for Medicaid if and when the time comes, it may not be too late to create a plan if you suddenly find yourself, or a loved one, in need of Medicaid benefits. Sit down and talk to your estate planning attorney in Illinois as soon as you foresee the need to qualify for Medicaid.
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