You want the best chance possible of becoming eligible for Medicaid for your long-term care. However, eligibility can be complicated. That’s why it’s important not to wait until the last minute and instead start planning for your long-term care now.
Here are some steps you can take to prepare for receiving Medicaid in Washington.
Hire Help Before You Start
Help from an experienced estate planning attorney can make a huge difference. An estate planning attorney in Washington will know all about Medicaid laws and changes that occur. They will be able to tell you if you’re eligible and, if not, what you have to do to become eligible.
In Washington for instance, Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) depends on your household size. If you make $18,075 per year before taxes and you live alone, then you are eligible. But if you have four people in your home, you’re eligible if your pre-tax income is $36,908 or less.
With the assistance of an estate planning attorney, you can place excessive income in a trust. If you don’t do this correctly, however, you may become disqualified for Medicaid. That’s why you need an attorney to help you.
Find Out About Assets
When it comes to Medicaid, there are countable and non-countable assets that will be counted towards your asset limit. Some countable assets include cash, vacation houses, mutual funds, stocks, and bonds. Some non-countable assets include your home – as long as you or your spouse lives in it – and a car.
You will have to make sure that you don’t reach the asset limit before applying for Medicaid for long-term care. You can’t simply send your assets to someone else right before you apply, since Medicaid looks at your asset transfers up to 60 months before you apply.
One spouse may be applying to Medicaid for long-term care, while the other is not. If this is the case, the non-applicant’s income will not be taken into account. The catch is that their assets will be. Your estate planning attorney might recommend reallocating or spending down assets so that the spouse is still eligible.
Determine What Kind of Care You’ll Need
If you can, try to plan what kind of care you’re going to need as you get older. Right now, you may be perfectly healthy and may not know what you’ll require. Or, you may have a vision for your future.
Perhaps you want to stay in your home at all costs and you’re going to take advantage of Medicaid’s in-home health care options. You might want to go to a nursing home instead; if you’re financially eligible and medically qualified, Medicaid may pay for most of your nursing home costs.
Look into the Medicaid nursing home choices for long-term care in your community. You can do your research on the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services website to find nursing homes and other types of facilities in your area. You’ll be able to better plan for what comes next.
Get In Touch With an Estate Planning Attorney
For help with Medicaid planning strategies for long-term care, you should reach out to the estate planning attorneys at Legacy Law Group in Eastern Washington, Spokane Valley, and Spokane itself. Contact us at (509) 315-8087 today to get started.