Nearly 70 percent of people over the age of 65 need some type of long-term care services during their senior years and many will require those services for five years or more. Unfortunately, most people grossly underestimate the cost of long-term services facilitating the need for a proactive approach. Conscientious Medicaid planning is the best way to ensure you receive the personal care services required to live independently when the need arises.
Managing preparations for the care that most people will inevitably need is a delicate undertaking because of the highly sensitive and personal nature of the information being handled. To further complicate matters, qualifying for Medicaid is an arduous and time-consuming task. You can accelerate the process and secure the long-term care services you need with the help of a dedicated Medicaid planning team who understands how to navigate the intricacies of the system.
Auspicious Medicaid Planning Requires Professional Help
Medicaid covers the gap between the cost of the care you need in your senior years and the cost of the care you can afford, but it isn’t easy to qualify. Extensive documentation must accompany Medicaid applications. Missing financial statements or medical documents can significantly slow the entire process, delay the eligibility date, or require the applicant to start over from the beginning. There are also many complex guidelines which can be easily misinterpreted or overlooked causing an outright denial of benefits.
The arduous process of qualifying for Medicaid and receiving benefits for the long-term care services you need to improve or maintain your quality of life is only half the battle. By law, the Medicaid agency is required to seek full reimbursement of costs paid out on behalf of a qualified beneficiary following the beneficiary’s passing. The Medicaid Estate Recovery Program (MERP) typically seeks recovery from the remaining estate, which is usually the beneficiary’s home.
Preserve Liquid Assets by Partnering with a Pooled Trust
Early Medicaid planning is the best way to expedite the process and ensure you receive the long-term care benefits you’re entitled to when you need them. An experienced Medicaid planning team can help you qualify for benefits without spending down all your assets. You can remedy over the limit assets by joining a pooled trust instead of ‘spending down’ to meet the ‘Medicaid Excess Income’ requirements.
Pooled trusts are established and maintained by non-profit organizations as a basic requirement of federal law. Members’ assets are pooled together for investment and management purposes only, but each member maintains a private sub-account containing their own individual resources and funds.
Partnering with a pooled trust organization offers substantially more flexibility than the alternative. The Medicaid Excess Income program treats the amount of income over the limit as your deductible, so it can only be spent on qualifying medical expenses. A pooled trust, on the other hand, allows expenditures for personal needs, family maintenance, educational expenses and so much more. Joining a pooled trust not only allows you to maintain eligibility for Medicaid, but it also allows you to use funds in your sub-account to pay your bills and enhance your quality of life.
Medicaid Planning Made Simple
Medicaid planning is a smart move that will help enhance the quality of life in your senior years when you need long-term care services. Qualifying for services can be difficult because the system is complex. While there are multiple options, some offer more flexibility than others. Partnering with a pooled trust will not only help you qualify for the long-term care services you need, but it will protect your private resources while allowing you to access the funds you need to live out your golden years the way you want to.