Yakima Medicaid Planning Lawyers
Of the two public health systems administered by the federal government, Medicaid is intended to provide medical support for low-income individuals and those with limited resources. It is needs-based, which means there are strict eligibility rules established by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The other program, Medicare, helps the elderly and people with disabilities pay for health care. However, it does not cover an important expense that comes into play just when you reach the age that you become eligible: Long-Term Care.
While the two are separate and different regulations apply under Washington law, the relationship between these programs often necessitates Medicaid planning. There are ways to arrange assets and income so that you qualify, but these strategies require extensive development. Moulton Law Offices is committed to tackling these challenges and helping you retain as much of your wealth as possible. Please contact us to schedule a case evaluation with a Yakima Medicaid planning lawyer. A review of some key topics is also important.
Medicaid Planning Basics
Researchers estimate that around 70 percent of adults 65 and older will require placement in some type of long-term care during their lifetimes. Because Medicare does not cover these services, most people will be paying out of pocket. Medicaid planning involves strategies to reduce your net worth to the point where you qualify for the program, while still reserving the benefits of your assets.
Proper Medicaid planning also ensures you do not run afoul of CMS rules on transfers. It is improper and illegal to attempt to qualify for Medicaid by giving away assets or selling for less than fair market value. Many people are tempted to transfer to someone they know as a way to indirectly retain property. Any unlawful transfers during the 60 months before you apply for Medicaid could lead to a transfer penalty.
Strategies for Medicaid Planning
The basic approach for planning involves legally transferring ownership of assets to qualify for Medicaid, in such a way that you have no control over them but can still preserve your interests. Our Washington Medicaid planning lawyers at Moulton Law Offices will describe two common strategies:
1. Personal Service Contracts: It is possible to prepare an agreement to pay a caregiver to offer non-medical services, such as running for medications, helping with cooking, and cleaning the home. The contract establishes a price, which amounts are not included for CMS calculations.
2. Medicaid Asset Protection Trust: With a MAPT, you place qualifying assets into an irrevocable trust to be managed according to the trust agreement. These items are not considered owned by you because of the irrevocability, so CMS disregards them.
Trust a Yakima Medicaid Planning Lawyer to Explain Your Options
It is frustrating to think that you would have to make yourself poor to qualify for Medicaid to pay for long-term care, so Medicaid planning may be a solution. To learn about additional details and options, please contact Moulton Law Offices. We are happy to set up a consultation with a Washington Medicaid planning attorney.