Ideally, you won’t require Medicaid healthcare coverage as you age. You will have enough in savings to cover your basic cost-of-living expenses, and your health will remain strong enough that Medicare coverage will be sufficient.
Many people will find Medicare sufficient for their needs as they age. However, for older adults who move into nursing homes, who require medical support in their homes or who end up spending months at a rehabilitation facility, Medicare won’t cover the treatment they require.
Medicaid benefits will be the only option for covering those expenses. Medicaid planning helps you by allowing you to quickly qualify for benefits when the need arises. It also protects you by reducing the risk to your personal property as you age. How does Medicaid planning protect you from the threat of losing your assets?
1. You reduce the chance of a creditor lawsuit
When you are able to quickly qualify for Medicaid, you won’t have to worry about your healthcare costs spiraling out of control. If you have a penalty when you apply for Medicaid, it could be months before Medicaid will pay for your care costs.
You could rack up tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid nursing home fees in the interim. Creditors could take you to court and seek a lien against your personal property if they win a judgment against you because of those medical debts. Assets that you have already moved into a trust to help you quickly qualify for Medicaid will be protected from the possibility of a creditor coming after them because of unpaid debt.
2. You protect your estate from Medicaid recovery efforts
The Ohio Medicaid estate recovery program will file a claim for the full value of the healthcare services paid for by Medicaid after you die. Any property in your personal name after your death could be subject to estate recovery efforts.
That includes your home, which is one of the only valuable assets that won’t prevent you from qualifying for benefits in the first place. When you properly plan to qualify for Medicaid, you also protect your most valuable property from recovery efforts and creditor claims as you age.
Integrating Medicaid planning into your estate planning process could benefit you and the people that you love.