Medicaid Planning In Ohio
Long-term care is often both expensive and necessary. When the time comes that you need assistance, you want to have a plan in place to pay for the care. That’s where Medicaid planning can help. Our Ohio Medicaid planning lawyer can help you qualify for the program without losing your assets. Then, you can still pass down assets to your beneficiaries without sacrificing care.
Starting Medicaid planning at least five years before you’ll require care is important. Since you aren’t sure when that might be, it’s never too early to begin. Contact our Ohio Medicaid planning lawyer today for a free consultation.
Medicaid will review your application to determine your eligibility. To be eligible, you must:
- Be disabled or 65 or older
- Meet the asset requirements
- Meet the income requirements
Your Ohio Medicaid planning lawyer can help you meet the income and asset requirements. With the right strategy, you can transfer the assets and income out of your estate while still benefiting from it.
Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts
Many people set up Medicaid asset protection trusts so they can qualify for the program. This is an irrevocable trust, so you cannot modify or revoke it once you create it. In addition, after you transfer assets into the trust, they’re no longer part of your estate. Thus, they don’t count toward the program’s asset limit.
However, Medicaid has a lookback period of five years from the date you apply for the program. When you submit your application, the government will check for all transfers made within the last five years. Those transfers will count toward your estate. Thus, it’s important to contact an Ohio Medicaid planning lawyer soon for guidance and to start the estate planning process.
Do you depend on annuities as part or all of your income? If so, your Central Ohio Medicaid planning lawyer will review them to make sure they’re Medicaid-compliant. Otherwise, the money will count toward your income and asset limits.
Medicaid-compliant annuities are non-transferable, fixed, and can only last during your lifetime. Also, you have to set up annuities, so the money goes to the state of Ohio when you pass away. Consult with an attorney if you would like to add Medicaid-compliant annuities to your estate plan.
Income And Asset Limits
Income and asset limits may vary over time, so it is best to check with the Medicaid website for the most up-to-date information. However, as of 2021, you cannot make more than $2,382 a month or have more than $2,000 in assets to qualify for Medicaid as an individual. If both you and your spouse are applying, your income limit is $4,764 a month, and the asset limit is $3,000. Even if you are well over the limit, your Ohio Medicaid planning lawyer can help. Consult with a lawyer today to find out how an irrevocable trust and other strategies can help you qualify.
What’s Considered Income?
The government counts all money that you receive as income. That includes pension, social security, stock dividends, and more. If you are unsure how much income you earn, consult an attorney. Your lawyer will go over your finances to determine the strategies necessary to help you qualify for Medicaid.
7 Medicaid Myths in Ohio
Myth 1: You Must Give Up All Your Assets to Qualify for Medicaid
Ohio Medicaid eligibility does not require depleting all your assets. Although strict asset limits exist, there are legal ways to protect your assets and qualify for Medicaid benefits with a proper Medicaid plan.
With the help of an experienced Ohio elder law attorney, you can preserve assets and avoid spend-downs and home liens, ensuring your assets remain yours to control. We know how much you have invested in your future and will help ensure that you — not the government – choose what happens to your assets.
Myth 2: Transferring Assets to Loved Ones Disqualifies You from Medicaid
Asset transfers are indeed subject to strict Medicaid rules. However, using proper Medicaid planning strategies, you can transfer them within the allowable time frame. You can achieve Medicaid eligibility without risking your loved ones’ inheritance.
Ohio requires a five-year “look-back period,” meaning that transfers made within five years of your Medicaid application may incur penalties. That’s why it is never too early to start your Medicaid planning. A proactive approach ensures your preparedness and protection when you need long-term care.
Myth 3: You Must Sell Your Home to Qualify for Medicaid
Let us put your mind at ease: the prospect of losing your home to qualify for Medicaid is largely a myth. Medicaid often considers a primary residence an exempt asset, allowing you to simultaneously retain your cherished home and Medicaid benefits for long-term care. The only catch? The home equity value must remain under a designated threshold, and you must show a desire to return to the residence if your health permits.
If you’re single, the home exemption applies to you as long you maintain your primary residence. Married couples can take advantage of an unlimited home exemption if one spouse continues to live in the home. Medicaid offers additional provisions for those caring for disabled children.
Are you feeling overwhelmed? An Ohio elder law attorney with experience in Medicaid planning can help you navigate the Medicaid rules and your unique circumstances to ensure your beloved home remains safe and sound.
Myth 4: If You Have Medicare, You Have Coverage for All Your Healthcare Needs
Many people wrongly believe that Medicare covers all their healthcare needs. However, while Medicare covers many services, it only covers the cost of long-term care for 100 days—if the person enrolled in Medicare meets specific requirements.
Conversely, Medicaid covers long-term care services for those who qualify, a vital resource for seniors who require ongoing care.
Myth 5: If You Receive Medicaid, Your Spouse Will Lose Everything
Ohio’s spousal impoverishment rules safeguard your loved one’s financial stability, designed to protect the well-being of the “at-home” partner when their spouse needs long-term care. These regulations allow the community spouse to hold onto a specific portion of income and assets, ensuring they’re well-supported while their partner benefits from Medicaid.
Don’t navigate this complex process alone. An experienced Ohio Medicaid attorney can share savvy asset transfer advice to avoid Medicaid penalties; provide income allocation assistance to maintain the community spouse’s quality of life; and offer individualized estate planning strategies, including wills, trusts, and power of attorney documents.
Myth 6: Ohio Medicaid Only Covers Nursing Home Care
Ohio’s Medicaid program is a comprehensive care solution for eligible seniors, offering home and community-based service waivers and traditional nursing home coverage. The PASSPORT waiver program helps preserve assets and independence by providing long-term services seniors need without resorting to institutionalization. However, without proactive planning with the help of an experienced Ohio Medicaid attorney, you could face high long-term care costs, expensive spend-downs, or loss of assets.
Myth 7: After You Die, Medicaid Will Seize Your Home
Ohio’s Medicaid Estate Recovery Program seeks to recover funds from deceased individuals who received benefits. However, creating a trust can safeguard your family home and assets against possible recovery attempts. To ensure proper protection, consult an experienced and knowledgeable Ohio Medicaid attorney about your estate planning needs and goals.
Why Choose Jarvis Law Office?
Frequently Asked Questions
Elder law is a legal specialization focusing on issues that affect the aging population. This includes areas like Medicaid planning, estate planning, and long-term care planning. Elder law attorneys assist families in understanding and navigating these complex areas, offering guidance to protect their life savings and ensure they receive the benefits they’re entitled to.
An elder law attorney can provide invaluable assistance in Medicaid planning. Elder law attorneys often have deep knowledge of the Medicaid rules and eligibility requirements and can guide clients through the Medicaid application process. Their job is to help seniors and their families protect their savings while ensuring they get necessary medical care and services.
Medicaid covers the cost of nursing home care for eligible individuals. However, the rules around Medicaid eligibility can be complex. Job and family services or elder law attorneys can assist families in understanding these rules and applying for Medicaid assistance.
Yes, with proper Medicaid planning and the assistance of an elder law attorney with Jarvis Law, it’s possible to protect your life savings. This might involve strategies such as setting up trusts or simply giving assets to your children before applying for Medicaid. Getting professional guidance before making such decisions is crucial, as there are strict rules about asset transfers.
A community spouse refers to a healthy spouse living in the community while their partner requires long-term care in a nursing home. In terms of Medicaid, certain protections are in place to prevent the community spouse from becoming impoverished. An elder law firm can provide guidance on these rules and help protect the financial well-being of the community spouse.
Please note that the information provided here is general in nature and should not be considered legal advice. It is recommended to consult with an attorney from Jarvis Law Office to obtain personalized advice based on your specific circumstances.