When you are planning for retirement, you probably envision your active years. This can be one of the best periods of your life, and you should certainly do everything possible to enjoy your golden years to the fullest.
At the same time, to be fully prepared for the future, you should also consider the period of time that will precede your passing.
Many people become unable to handle their activities of daily living late in their lives. The United States Department of Health and Human Services tells us that 70 percent of people reaching the age of 65 will someday need long-term care.
Medicare will not pay for long-term care, and nursing homes and assisted living communities are very expensive all around the country. We practice in the state of New York, and the costs in our state are significantly higher than the national averages.
A year in a private room in a nursing home averages over $100,000 in New York, and people often spend multiple years in nursing homes.
Qualifying for Medicaid
Medicaid will pay for long-term care if you can meet the eligibility requirements, and this is why the Medicaid program is relevant to many retired people who were never financially needy.
There is an upper asset limit of $2000 for a single individual, but some of the assets that you have do not count toward this figure. Your home, up to $814,000 in equity in New York in 2014, is not looked upon as a countable asset.
One vehicle that is used as a primary source of transportation is not counted, and you can have a life insurance policy valued at up to $1500. Under Medicaid regulations, you can retain the same amount for burial or cremation expenses.
Your wedding ring, your engagement ring, and your heirloom jewelry would not be counted by Medicaid evaluators. You can also maintain possession of household effects and personal belongings.
Many people qualify for Medicaid through a process called a Medicaid spend down. This is a measured divestiture of assets. You could essentially give your children their inheritances in advance.
However, you must act in a careful and informed manner, because there is a five-year look-back period. You must complete your divestitures at least five years before you apply for Medicaid to obtain immediate eligibility.
Free Medicaid Planning Report
Medicaid can help you preserve your wealth for the benefit of your loved ones. If you would like to learn more about the eligibility requirements, download our special report on Medicaid planning.
The report is being offered on a complimentary basis, and you can click this link to obtain access to your copy: Rochester NY Medicaid Planning.