Golden Medicaid Planning Lawyer
Many people think that you have to have very little money in order to enroll in Medicaid. While it’s true that Medicaid is need-based, there are also steps we can take to help you get set up with Medicaid and also protect your assets. Brady, McFarland & Lord, LLC has been helping people protect their assets while controlling their healthcare costs for decades. Contact our Golden, Colorado Medicaid planning lawyers online or call us at (303) 420-2863 to schedule your free initial consultation.
What is Medicaid Planning?
Medicaid planning can sometimes be difficult to understand, and many people don’t even know that it’s something they need to be doing. Learning more about Medicaid planning will help ensure that you receive the care that you need later in life and that it is as affordable as possible. It can be quite complex, so consulting with an experienced Medicaid planning attorney is crucial.
Medicaid planning typically includes finding the best way to structure financial resources and assets, preparing certain documents, managing the transfer of assets, forming trusts, and converting countable assets into exempt assets. This is not an exhaustive list, and any experienced Medicaid planning lawyer lawyer can assist you in doing everything you can to plan for your future.
What is the Importance of Medicaid Planning?
As we get into our older years, it’s crucial to make sure that our finances and healthcare needs are solid. As we age, we tend to have more ailments and therefore need to be able to access more treatment and healthcare. By really planning out your future and your Medicaid needs, this will be much more feasible than if you don’t worry about it until you have an issue.
One of the main reasons Medicaid planning is so important is that it can help ensure that it doesn’t wipe out all of your and your spouse’s assets. There are limits set on how much you can earn or have in order to be eligible for Medicaid care. In some circumstances, you might not have enough money, and in others, you may have too much money. It can cost up to $10,000 per month to live in a skilled nursing facility, which adds up very quickly. People who have some money but not enough to afford that price tag will sometimes sell off their assets so they or their loved one will be eligible for Medicaid. With proper planning, this can be avoided.
Many of the requirements and rules surrounding Medicaid change often, so having an experienced lawyer to keep you up to date is crucial as well. Thinking that you or a loved one is eligible for Medicaid and then realizing that isn’t correct could be devastating.
Medicaid Planning FAQ
In order to understand Medicaid and why it’s smart to consult with a Golden, Colorado estate planning attorney, we’ve put together this page of frequently asked questions about Medicaid and Medicaid planning.
What Are the Income Limits for Medicaid in Colorado?
Generally speaking, you are not eligible for Medicaid in Colorado if you have more than $2,000 in countable assets. Many assets are exempt and will not be counted when determining if you are eligible. Exempt assets include the following:
Your House. Your principal residence is exempt as long as your equity in the house does not exceed $603,000.
Your Vehicle. If you have a car that is used for employment, to obtain medical treatment or is handicap-equipped, your vehicle is considered exempt. You can only exempt one car.
Personal Property. Certain types of personal property are exempt, such as clothing, furniture, wedding rings, and appliances. Any personal property held for investment purposes is not exempt.
Burial Insurance. Revocable burial insurance is exempt up to $1,500. Irrevocable burial insurance is always exempt, no matter the value.
Retirement Accounts (sometimes). Sometimes retirement accounts are countable assets, but if you incur penalties or other taxes when you decide to withdraw money, the value of the retirement account can be reduced when this is included in the counting of your assets.
Who is Eligible for Medicaid in Golden, Colorado?
Knowing if you or a loved one is eligible for Medicaid or what you can do to become eligible is incredibly important to explore before you need to use it. There are very specific requirements. To be eligible in Golden, Colorado, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must be a Colorado resident; and
- You must be a United States citizen, a legal permanent resident, or a legal immigrant whose meets the income levels
Additionally, you must meet one of the following requirements:
- You’re pregnant
- You have responsibility for a minor child
- You are blind
- You’re 65 or older
- You have a disability or someone in your family and household has a disability
Further, you must meet certain income requirements. To be eligible for Institutional Medicaid or Medicaid waivers/home and community services, a single individual cannot earn more than $2,382 per month, and a couple cannot earn more than $4,764 per month if both spouses are applying for Medicaid (as of 2021). If only one party is applying, the income limit is $2,382. The asset limit is $2,000 for a single person, and $3,000 for married couples if both partners are applying. If only one spouse applies, the asset limit is $2,000 for the applicant and $130,380 for the other party.
In order to apply for regular Medicaid, the income limit is slightly different. A single individual must not earn more than $794 per month, and married couples must not earn more than $1,191 per month. The asset limit is $2,000 for single individuals and $3,000 for married individuals. It doesn’t matter if one or both spouses are applying; the asset limit remains the same.
Can I Give Gifts to Reduce My Countable Assets?
This can be a complicated question. Medicaid has a five-year look-back rule, meaning you will be penalized if you give away too much within five years of applying for Medicaid. However, in the following circumstances, you can give gifts or transfer assets without being penalized:
- Transferring assets to a spouse
- Transferring assets to a child who is blind or permanently disabled
- Transferring assets to a trust for someone under the age of 65 who is permanently disabled
- Transferring your home to a child who is under the age of 21 and is blind or disabled
- Transferring your home to a child who has lived in the same house for two years or more before you entered into a nursing home, as long as they provided you with care that allowed you to stay at home during that time period
- Transferring your house to one of your siblings who has lived in the same home for more than one year before you entered the nursing home and who has an equity interest in the house
Contact Our Golden, Colorado Medicaid Planning Attorney
If you still have questions or want to start Medicaid planning, don’t hesitate to contact us. We have been helping people for decades. Our most important job is to protect what’s most valuable to you. When you hire Brady, McFarland & Lord, LLC, you can be confident that someone is looking out for your best interests. It isn’t about the bottom line for us; it’s about taking care of all of our clients’ needs. Contact us online or call us at (303) 420-2863 to schedule your free initial consultation.