Medicaid is a government health care program with federal rules but administered by individual states. It is used by many elderly residents in Massachusetts, but the program is not restricted to the elderly. Many wrongly assume that you can qualify for medicaid once you reach a certain age, however, there are actually several different medicaid qualification criteria. This overview will help you better understand and plan for this program.
Why Medicaid Coverage Is Important
As you age, your medical expenses will grow while your income will decrease. In retirement, you will not have the benefit of employer-provided medical insurance. Plus, you may require additional and costly services such as nursing home care. Medicaid can help cover medical, nursing home, and other elderly care services, thus preserving your assets and allowing your retirement savings to last longer. It is important to be aware of medicaid qualification criteria long before you plan to apply for medicaid.
Medicaid Qualification Criteria
Medicaid qualification criteria include both financial and non-financial factors. Financially, your income and assets are considered and must be within certain limits. The limits vary for single versus married persons. For individuals over the age of 65, social security income is used for income analysis. Assets include anything that you own, such as homes and cars. Having too much income or too many assets may make you ineligible financially. Non-financial factors include residency in the state of Massachusetts and citizenship (or lawful permanent residence).
Medicaid Planning Tips
There are legal instruments that can help preserve your assets and improve your chances of qualifying for medicaid, but many require advanced planning. For instance, you can set up a medicaid trust. Assets must be placed into that trust 5 years ahead of time in order to be excluded from assets on a medicaid application.
Massachusetts Elder Law Attorneys
Planning for medicaid involves a detailed understanding of Massachusetts medicaid qualification criteria and a close review of your personal finances and circumstances. Contact our Massachusetts Elder Law attorneys to schedule a consultation. We will provide you with helpful information and guidance on protecting your assets and providing for your future care.