A Michigan Medicaid lawyer provides assistance to clients who want to make certain they are able to qualify for help covering medical costs that private insurance and Medicare do not cover. Some of the most costly care that a person needs in his lifetime – like nursing home care – is not covered by most insurance. If you don’t get Medicaid to pay for this kind of care and you have to pay privately, you could go through your whole life savings quickly and not be able to leave any legacy for the people you love.
Biddinger, Bitzer & Estelle will try to help ensure that this does not happen to you by assisting with the creation of a Medicaid plan to protect assets. It is important to understand how making a Medicaid plan protects your wealth so you can make informed choices about when to make a plan and what your plan should encompass.
Call Biddinger, Bitzer & Estelle if you are concerned you may someday need Medicaid to cover future healthcare costs so you can get advice on when to make your Medicaid plan and so you can learn how a Michigan Medicaid planning lawyer will assist in asset protection.
Many People Need Nursing Home Care During their Lifetimes
According to the Wall Street Journal, close to ¾ of seniors 65 and over will some day need nursing home care are least on a temporary basis. A person who reaches the age of 65 has a 40 percent chance of requiring nursing home care and has a 20 percent chance of needing to stay in a nursing home for five or more years.
Since there is such a significant chance that you could need nursing home as you age, you need to make a plan to pay for it. A Michigan Medicaid planning lawyer helps with the creation of a plan to get your costs taken care of.
Medicaid May be the Only Way to Pay for Care
Medicare, Medigap plans, and many insurance policies offer no coverage for “custodial” nursing home care, although some kinds of skilled medical services in nursing homes are covered for limited durations.
Custodial care is the reason almost every nursing home patient is in a nursing homes. It is the type of care that seniors need, as it includes routine help with activities of daily living. Unfortunately, if no insurance policies pay for this kind of care, seniors are left with no choice but to foot the bill out of pocket– which means paying thousands of dollars month– or to try to qualify for Medicaid.
Medicaid is Means-Tested
The problem is, Medicaid is a means-tested program. Those who apply for benefits generally must have countable assets below a certain level. Having too many assets can be disqualifying. A person with too much money or property to get Medicaid could end up being forced to spend his money on nursing home care, essentially impoverishing himself before he can get covered.
While there are special rules to provide at least some protection for community spouses (those staying in the community instead of going to a nursing home care) and while there certain kinds of assets that may be partially or fully protected from being considered countable, many people who apply for benefits with money, personal property, or valuable real estate properties will not be allowed to get benefits until their assets are reduced to meet Medicaid’s eligibility rules.
Advanced Medicaid Planning Can Help
Making a Medicaid plan can help by allowing you to structure ownership of assets so the wealth that is protected is not counted as a resource or asset for purposes of qualifying for Medicaid.
Some types of planning must be done at least five years before Medicaid is needed, because plans often involve transferring assets – which the government does not want people doing just to get Medicaid coverage. There is a five-year lookback rule that assesses whether you’ve given away or transferred assets within five years of trying to get Medicaid to cover you. If you made transfers, you can be disqualified from coverage for a period of time. During that time, you’d typically have to pay out of pocket for nursing home care until you could get covered by Medicaid.
However, our firm also does crisis planning to help you get qualified for Medicaid coverage as soon as possible if you need care right away and don’t have advanced plans in place. Don’t assume it is too late to protect your wealth — talk with our firm first to see if we can help keep property safe.
Getting Help from A Michigan Medicaid Lawyer
A Michigan Medicaid lawyer at Biddinger, Bitzer & Estelle can provide assistance with the Medicaid planning process. Give us a call at (989) 872-5601 or contact us online to find out more about the ways in which an attorney can help you try to qualify for Medicaid but not have to spend down the nest egg that should serve as your legacy.