Denver Medicaid Planning Attorney

For most people in America, health insurance can be very stressful and confusing. If you are unable to find a job that offers health insurance benefits, then you have to find a way to pay the sometimes exorbitant monthly premiums and buy health insurance on your own. Fortunately, Medicaid offers health insurance for millions of Americans who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it. It’s important to start thinking about your healthcare before something catastrophic happens.

If you organize your assets and plan properly, you might be able to qualify for Medicaid even if you think you earn too much money. This can help you pay for a nursing home or other long-term care that you might need while still giving you the chance to pass on some of your assets to your children or other family members. At Brady, McFarland & Lord, LLC, our Medicaid planning lawyers in Denver have decades of experience helping people take control of their health and planning appropriately so they can get the savings and care they need. Contact us today at (303) 420-2863 or contact us online to set up a free initial interview.

Why You Need a Denver Attorney for Medicaid Planning

When you hire an experienced Medicaid planning attorney, they can help you structure your assets in a way that allows you to qualify for Medicaid when you initially thought you would be ineligible. Most importantly, they will ensure that everything you do is proper and legal so you won’t end up in trouble or responsible for fees and/or penalties you didn’t plan for or expect.

Why Plan for Medicaid?

Planning for Medicaid is important so you can ensure that you and/or your loved ones have healthcare and appropriate long-term care plans. Medicaid has stringent income limits, and many people assume that they don’t qualify if they are above the income limit. While this is true in many cases, a professional can often utilize strategies to help you qualify for Medicaid if you’re just a little bit above the income limit. Long-term care is expensive, and health insurance can be quite costly as we age as well.

If you wait until you need a nursing home or until your health is declining, it’s going to be much more challenging to develop an effective plan for you and your family. Additionally, applying for and becoming eligible for Medicaid can be complicated and time-consuming. If you plan with an estate planning attorney in Denver, you’re less likely to make minor errors that could significantly delay your application.

Who is Eligible For Colorado Medicaid?

In order to qualify for Medicaid in Colorado, you must meet certain criteria. First, you must be a resident of Colorado. You must also be a United States citizen, a legal permanent resident, or a legal immigrant whose income is characterized as very low. In addition, you must meet one of the following requirements:

  • You’re pregnant
  • You are responsible for a child under the age of 18
  • You’re blind
  • You have a disability or there’s a family member in your household with a disability
  • You’re 65 or older

Medicaid eligibility can be complicated, and the application is time-consuming and can be rejected for simple mistakes. If you are interested in Medicaid planning or any other type of long-term care planning, an experienced Denver estate planning lawyer can assist you.

What Are The Income Rules For Medicaid in Colorado?

There are strict income and resource limits that you have to meet in order to qualify for Medicaid. However, there are different types of Medicaid long-term care programs, and the income limits vary depending on which type you need. For example, there’s institutional Medicaid, Medicaid waivers/home and community-based services, and Regular Medicaid. 

Income refers to any source of income that an applicant receives, including salary, alimony, pension, social security disability income, veteran’s benefits, and stock dividends. Assets refer to cash, stocks, bonds, investments, savings, checking accounts, and real estate investments. Some assets are exempt from Medicaid eligibility requirements, such as personal belongings, household furnishings, a vehicle, irrevocable burial trusts, and a primary residence if specific criteria are met.  

In order to qualify for Institutional Medicaid or Medicaid waivers/home and community-based services, the income limit as of 2021 is $2,382 per month for a single individual and $4,764 per month for married individuals if both spouses are applying. If only one spouse is applying, the income limit remains at $2,382 per month. The asset limit is $2,000 for single individuals and $3,000 for married couples if both spouses are applying for Medicaid. If only one spouse is applying, the asset limit is $2,000 for the applicant spouse and $130,380 for the non-applicant spouse. 

To qualify for Regular Medicaid, the income limit for a single individual is $794 per month and $1,191 per month for married couples. The asset limit is $2,000 for single individuals and $3,000 for married couples, regardless of whether one or both spouses are applying for Medicaid.

What Is Spending Down? Should I Do This to Qualify for Medicaid?

Spending down occurs when a person spends or uses resources as a way to qualify for Medicaid. Medicaid is need-based, so many people spend a significant portion of their money in order to be eligible and get their healthcare taken care of. While this is certainly one strategy that might work for some, an experienced Medicaid planning attorney can help you organize your assets so you can avoid this type of pitfall.

The 5-Year Look Back Rule

Many people are under the impression that they can simply give their assets away so that they qualify for Medicaid. This way, they can still pass on their wealth to their children or grandchildren and have Medicaid pay for their nursing home care. This is incorrect. It’s crucial to understand that anytime you apply for Medicaid, they will examine any gifts you have given over the last five years. If they determine that some of these gifts are too large, you will likely not be eligible, at least for the time being. For example, if you decide to give your house to your child and then apply for Medicaid the following year, this could be a problem. Depending on the value of your home, the gift you have given could be the cause of your ineligibility for Medicaid for many years, which could be very detrimental to your healthcare needs and planning.

Contact Our Denver Medicaid Planning Lawyers

At Brady, McFarland & Lord, LLC, our only goal is to make sure you get the legal advice you need. If you’re struggling with figuring out how you are going to pay for a nursing home or a long-term care facility without completely depleting all of your assets, we can help. Contact our Arvada estate planning attorneys today at (303) 420-2863 or online to set up a free initial interview.