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What is Medicaid planning?

| Dec 2, 2019 | Firm News |

There may come a time when your parent can no longer stay in his or her home alone and requires long-term care. If you have not planned for this move, it can be quite a shock when you see how much such care can cost in Ohio. Moving your parent into a nursing home or hiring full-time at-home care can easily wipe out all the money your parent may have saved. At this point, the best thing to do is to begin planning to apply for Medicaid, which is a state health insurance program for lower-income individuals.

The reason that the process requires planning is that there are strict requirements to qualify for insurance. Your parent cannot have too many assets, and his or her net worth must fall within a specific range. Most often to qualify a person, the state requires adjustments to his or her income, savings or assets.

Meeting the income limits

The American Council on Aging explains that qualifying for Medicaid can take a huge burden off you and other family members. The program will pay for many of your parent’s care needs with little to no out-of-pocket spending on your part.

However, the income limits are non-negotiable. Your mother or father must come in under the limit of allowable income and resources. To adjust your parent’s assets, you may convert certain assets into a trust or into resources that will not otherwise count towards the Medicaid income limits. You may also have to consider what happens if only one parent needs the insurance. You will need to divide their assets in some way.

This is a process that requires careful planning, hence the reason for Medicaid planning well before your father or mother reaches the point where he or she needs the insurance. Many questions may come up and actions that you will need to take. Knowing what you must do ahead of time is much easier than waiting until the last minute when you face deadlines and a growing need to get your loved one care.