Leesburg Medicaid Planning Attorney
While most people have a good understanding of what Medicare pays for, such as doctor’s exams, hospital stays, outpatient care, and prescription drugs, one of the greatest areas of misconception is Medicare’s role in long term care—in fact, Medicare does not provide a dime for long term care. Medicaid, on the other hand, does pay for long term care at nursing homes, assisted living, and independent living. Because most people cannot pay for long term care, yet will need to rely on it at some point in their lives, qualifying for Medicaid can be critical. However, in order to qualify, an individual cannot have assets worth more than a few thousand dollars. This creates a conundrum, and forces elderly people to choose between spending down their life savings to qualify for Medicaid and receive the long term care they need, and forgoing long term care and staying in their home long past the point of safety. Thankfully there is a third option, which our Leesburg medicaid planning attorneys at the Law Offices of Shea A. Fugate, P.A. in Leesburg can help you pursue.
Long Term Care Insurance
If you start early, Long Term Care (LTC) insurance may be a good investment. However, purchasing LTC insurance may be unfavorable for those who are not relatively young and healthy. If LTC insurance sounds like a good option, it is still important to discuss it with your attorney, as there are many unscrupulous insurance companies and low quality plans out there that may be unhelpful when you need them.
Gifting Assets to Minimize Your Estate
Because Medicaid is only available to those with very low assets, one option is to spend down your estate over the years by giving the maximum non taxable gifts to your children and grandchildren ($15,000 per year for an individual, and $30,000 for a married couple per person). Unfortunately, this leaves you with nothing by the time you need long term care, or it could even backfire and you could be down to your last savings before you even need long term care. Furthermore, Medicaid’s look back period could still mean that you are ineligible even if you spend down your estate to zero by the time you need to move into a care facility.
Keeping Your Home and Still Qualifying For Long Term Care
In many cases, it is possible to qualify for long term care and still keep your home if it is $572,000 or less. That means, if you have to spend a year or more in a long term care facility, you can most likely keep the home in your possession for a potential return at some point. In order to do this, you must have an intent to return. The federal government has the capability to put a lien on your home, though cannot force you to sell it, if it believes you cannot return to the home.
Call a Leesburg Medicaid Planning Lawyer
In addition to LTC insurance and spending down your estate, there are other options, including creating a special needs trust if you are disabled, or creating a Medicare set aside trust. No matter your specific set of circumstances, the Leesburg Medicaid planning lawyers at the Law Offices of Shea A. Fugate, P.A. can help. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.