Medicaid Planning In Westerville, Ohio
Long-term care is often both costly and necessary, especially as you age. When the time comes that you need assistance, it’s vital to have a financial plan in place. That’s where Medicaid planning can make a significant difference. Our Westerville, Ohio Medicaid planning lawyer is dedicated to helping you qualify for the program while preserving your assets. This way, you can still pass down your assets to your beneficiaries without compromising your care.
Initiating Medicaid planning at least five years before you anticipate needing care is crucial. Since the exact timing is uncertain, it’s never too early to start. Contact our Westerville 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.
Shield Your Assets with Medicaid Protective Trusts
Many individuals set up Medicaid asset protection trusts to become eligible for the program. Assets transferred into the trust are no longer considered part of your estate and do not count toward the program’s asset limit.
However, it’s essential to be aware that Medicaid has a five-year lookback period from the date of program application. When you submit your application, all transfers made within the last five years will be assessed and considered part of your estate. Hence, it’s crucial to seek guidance from a Westerville, Ohio Medicaid planning lawyer promptly to initiate the estate planning process.
Mastering Medicaid Compliance through Annuities
Depending on annuities for some or all of your income? Your Westerville, Ohio Medicaid planning attorney will scrutinize them to verify their conformity with Medicaid rules. Non-compliant options may contribute to exceeding income and asset limits.
Qualifying annuities should be non-transferable, fixed, and extended only throughout your life. Additionally, you must designate the state of Ohio as the recipient of funds after your death. Consult a Jarvis Law Medicaid planning lawyer if you wish to incorporate Medicaid-compliant annuities within your estate preparations.
Becoming Medicaid Ready: Income and Asset Criteria
Medicaid 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, in 2021, Medicaid eligibility was tied to very rigid financial benchmarks. As an individual, your monthly income could not surpass $2,382, and your assets had to remain below $2,000. When applying as a couple, the income threshold increased to $4,764 monthly, with a $3,000 asset limit. Regardless of your current financial situation, our Westerville, Ohio Medicaid planning lawyer is available to provide guidance. Contact our attorney today to learn about valuable strategies like irrevocable trusts that can aid you in meeting Medicaid’s criteria.
Identifying Relevant Income for Medicaid Eligibility
During the Medicaid eligibility evaluation, the government categorizes every type of monetary gain you receive, like pension benefits, social security provisions, stock dividends, and others, as income. If the extent of your earnings seems unclear to you, consult with a Jarvis Law Medicaid planning attorney who can perform a thorough financial audit and devise effective strategies for you to become eligible for Medicaid.
7 Medicaid Myths In Westerville, 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 Westerville, 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? A Westerville, 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 Columbus 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 Westerville, 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 Westerville, 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.