If you or a loved one was given the news that they will need to enter an assisted living facility or nursing home, it can come as quite a shock. What is often even more shocking is the costs that are associated with this type of care. For most people, it will be necessary to have Medicaid step in and cover these costs, but there are a lot of restrictions that need to be accounted for, which is why it is so important to plan ahead to qualify for Medicaid.
Just because you haven't planned ahead for this need, however, doesn't mean you can never qualify. Crisis Medicaid planning can help you to do everything possible to limit your losses, while still getting the coverage you need. Improper crisis Medicaid planning, however, can cause a lot of problems. The following four mistakes are quite common, and should be avoided.
Attempting to Give Away Assets
In order to get on Medicaid, you need to reduce your assets below a certain threshold. To accomplish this, many people make the mistake of simply giving away money, property, or other assets to loved ones. While the intent is good, there are some important limitations on what you can give away without receiving penalties from the government. Giving away assets can make up a part of your overall Medicaid spend down efforts, but it needs to be done correctly.
Improper Attempt at Medicaid Spend Down
In order to get your financial assets below the required threshold, it is often a good idea to do what is called a “Medicaid spend down.” This involves purchasing certain assets that don't count for the Medicaid calculations. This is an important part of crisis Medicaid planning, but needs to be done carefully to avoid penalties or other problems.
Thinking it is Too Late to Plan
Medicaid planning can begin at almost any time. The sooner you start, the better, and the more options you will have. Don't make the mistake of thinking that it is too late, however. There are things you can do to prepare for Medicaid all the way through to the point where you are signed up, and even some things you can do after you're enrolled! To put it simply, it is really never too late to look engage in Medicaid planning.
Failing to Get Legal Help
Trying to complete crisis Medicaid planning on your own is perhaps the biggest mistake you can make. People who do this almost always make some of the above mistakes, and many others. Medicaid is a very large and complex program, and there are many things that you can do to help prepare yourself (and many others that you need to avoid). Contact the Tyra Law Firm to talk about your current situation, and see what we can do to help you through crisis Medicaid planning.