If you are over the age of 65, or are nearing the age of retirement, you should be thinking about your future healthcare costs. Specifically, you should consider the likely possibility that you, or your spouse, will need long-term care at some point in the future. Given the soaring cost of long-term care you need a plan to cover those costs. For many older Americans, that includes incorporating Medicaid planning into their overall estate plan. The reason you need to plan for Medicaid in the Quad Cities is that Medicaid has an asset limit that could prevent you from qualifying when the time comes if you have not planned ahead.
Many people make the mistake of assuming their own private health insurance plan will cover the cost of long-term care or that the Medicare program covers the costs. Unfortunately, the vast majority of private polices do not cover any long-term care costs. Medicare only covers long-term care costs in very special circumstances and then only for a short period of time. Therefore, Medicaid may be the only option available to you to help cover the costs associated with long-term care. Understanding this now will hopefully prompt you to plan ahead by incorporating Medicaid planning into your overall estate plan.
Quad Cities Illinois Medicaid Planning
The reason you need to plan ahead is that the Quad Cities Illinois Medicaid program, like most states, has an asset limit for applicants. For a single adult applying for Medicaid based on age or disability you cannot have countable assets worth over $2,000. If your assets exceed the asset limit you will have to “spend-down” before Medicaid will start paying for healthcare expenses, including long-term care. In other words, your life savings could end up being spent on long-term care costs before Medicaid will help.
Transferring assets out of your name shortly prior to applying for benefits is not an option because Medicaid has a five year “look-back” period. In essence, the “look-back” period allows Medicaid to search your financial records and transactions for any assets transfers in the last five years. In most cases, a transfer within the last five years will be considered voided by Medicaid and the value of the asset transferred imputed back to you as if you never transferred the asset in the first place.
By including a Medicaid plan within your broader estate plan you can ensure eligibility for Medicaid benefits when the time come without worrying about losing your life savings.
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