Protect your assets against Medicaid spend-down requirements

Posted by iLawyer on Aug 4th, 2021 Elder Law, Firm News

If you are getting older, you should know that one of the benefits you may need to qualify for in the future is Medicaid. Medicaid is a state and federal program that provides health coverage to eligible individuals in Texas and across the country.

The goal of Medicaid is to help people who need free or low-cost health care coverage get what they need to improve their health. Eligible individuals include:

  • Those who are blind
  • Those with disabilities
  • Pregnant women
  • Those 65 years of age or older
  • Guardians or parents of a child who is 18 or younger

As someone over the age of 65, you can qualify for Medicaid, but you need to have a low income or very few assets (based on the state’s current eligibility requirements). For example, for a single person to become eligible, they need to have an income of no more than $25,503 before taxes.

Using your estate plan to prepare for Medicaid coverage

Planning for Medicaid is important because you need to be able to show you have a low income to qualify. At the same time, you don’t necessarily want to spend down all your assets paying for medical care.

With the right planning techniques, it’s possible to reduce the value of your estate and to qualify for Medicaid while still protecting your assets. For example, some people place their assets into trusts to take them out of the estate and to help them qualify for Medicaid. However, it’s important to understand that there is a five-year look-back period that could hurt your chances of qualifying for Medicaid, so planning ahead is vital.

A trust is one way to help you protect your assets against a spend down

Planning a trust to take assets out of your name and to protect them to pass down to your beneficiaries is possible. You can also look into other methods for preserving your assets with your legal team. That way you can save more of your property for your family while still qualifying for the health care coverage that you need.