Medical care is quite costly nowadays. Many individuals rely heavily on their Medicaid benefits to cover their medical costs — especially when they need long-term care. You wouldn’t want to do anything to put your access to those benefits in jeopardy, would you?
Prospective recipients must have an income or assets that fall below a certain amount or threshold to qualify for Medicaid benefits. There is what Medicaid refers to as the “look-back period,” which usually lasts five years. Your eligibility for Medicaid may be affected by your income or the transfer of valuable assets during that time frame.
You’ll need to take steps now to ensure that you qualify to receive these valuable benefits when the time comes that you need them.
What is the income and asset threshold for Medicaid benefits?
Most states enforce a $2,000 monthly income threshold on patients looking to receive Medicaid benefits. The allowable assets to qualify for Medicaid are an average-priced home, car, life insurance plan and funeral policy.
How can you preserve your eligibility for Medicaid if you have more assets?
There are numerous ways to protect your income and assets while still preserving your Medicaid eligibility. Exactly what’s appropriate for your situation depends on factors like how early you begin planning, your marital relationship and what type of income or assets you actually have. Some of the options include:
- Transferring assets to your spouse (which is permitted)
- Transferring some of your assets to your children and using the rest to pay for your care during a period of ineligibility
- Moving assets or income into a trust that’s designed for this purpose
It’s difficult to understand all of the options you may have available to preserve your Medicaid eligibility without experienced guidance. An attorney can explain more and help you take the right steps.