Are You Afraid of Losing Your Home When You Apply for Medicaid?

Doctor that accepts Medicaid
Are you afraid to seek a means to receive health care?

Are You Afraid of Losing Your Home When You Apply for Medicaid? Don’t Be

Often when talking to someone about applying for Medicaid, the person is interrupted with a statement along the lines of, “I’ll have to sell my home.” People are scared that they will lose their homes if they apply for Medicaid. It can be scary thinking that you may have to give up your home to pay for care in a nursing facility.

When you apply for Medicaid, your house is an exempt asset in most states, meaning it won't count towards your $2,000 (in 2007) resource limit (countable assets include checking and savings accounts, stocks, bonds, etc.). 

If you own your home under certain circumstances, it can be excluded or non-countable, which means it will not be considered when your eligibility for Medicaid is determined.

What is Medicaid?

Medicaid is a government health insurance program that helps low-income people and families pay for medical care. It's jointly funded by the federal government and state governments, and each state has its own rules about who is eligible for coverage. 

In most states, you must be elderly, blind, or disabled to qualify, but children and pregnant women are also suitable in some conditions.

If you're thinking of applying for Medicaid, it's essential to know a few things you can do to make the process easier. 

For example, you can apply online or over the phone, and in many cases, you don't have to go through an interview. You can also keep your home if you have one.

If you're already enrolled in Medicaid, there are a few things you can do to make sure you're getting the most out of your coverage. 

For example, you can ask your doctor about free or low-cost prescriptions, and you can find out about health care programs in your area that offer discounted rates. 

You can also use the Medicaid website to learn more about your benefits and use them.

Exceptions for Medicaid

Let's face it; there are a lot of misperceptions about Medicaid.

One primary concern about Medicaid is that it needs to be regulated or have a society of freeloaders. The article from the Inveigle Magazine," I'm My Brother's Keeper," explains this fear makes it harder for elaborated expectations in the Medicaid system.

Many people think that Medicaid will take all their money and put them in a nursing home or just be an impossible process. The truth is Medicaid can help you keep your house and other assets while receiving the care you may need.

stethoscope to hear your heartbeat
Do you even qualify for Medicaid health insurance?

To qualify for Medicaid, you have to fall into one of two categories:

1) You have almost no income and minimal assets

2) Your income is too high for Medicaid, but your medical bills have overwhelmed your ability to pay for them, so they now count as 'disposable income.’ Of course, there are exceptions, but this covers 99% of medicare applicants.

The Medicaid program is designed to help those who require it the most and cannot care for themselves. Furthermore, according to the previous article on Inveigle Magazine, this program mainly exists on the principles of altruism and reciprocity. Therefore, if you have many assets, remember to be selfless and think about how others are less fortunate than you need Medicaid. 

However, if you are worried about losing your home or other assets, don't be! Medicaid planning attorneys can help you keep what's yours while still receiving the care you require.

Have you ever thought about applying for Medicaid but were afraid of losing your house? You might be surprised to know that you can keep your home when applying for Medicaid. However, it's important to note that there are some exceptions.

If you have equity in the home, certain conditions must first be met before applying for Medicaid.

The Roles to Apply For Medicaid

• Your home cannot be worth more than a set amount, which varies from state to state.  

• You must have at least a certain number of months left before the Medicaid program deems you ineligible for assistance. For example, in Illinois, an applicant can have no more than six months before being ineligible for care assistance.  

• If your spouse is still living in your home and applying for Medicaid, different conditions will determine whether or not they will lose their residence. In some cases, the spouse who does not need nursing-home care can keep their house while the other spouse gets help with daily activities but needs to live in a licensed facility. However, this is only if they both agree.  

• In Michigan, if you are not financially eligible for Medicaid but qualify to receive services through a state Community Mental Health Agency, the agency will generally make sure that your house does not have to be sold to pay for care.

If any of these situations apply to you, it's essential to make sure that you check with your state’s Medicaid department immediately before signing an application. 

If you wait too long and use funds from a trust or a life insurance policy without going through Medicaid first, those funds may be lost forever. It can also prevent your children from collecting life insurance money after you die if they feel as though they were required to sell the home to meet expenses.

Medicaid planning attorneys
How to protect your house from Medicaid.

How Your Planning Attorney Can Help You With Medicaid

Medicaid planning attorneys can help individuals and families take advantage of the exceptions to Medicaid eligibility. These include:

-Transferring assets for less than fair market value

-Making a gift

- establish a special needs trust

Each of these planning techniques can help protect assets from being counted against someone's eligibility for Medicaid.

However, it is vital to work with an experienced attorney to make sure that the plans are implemented correctly and will be effective in helping the individual or family meet their Medicaid eligibility requirements. 

For example, transferring assets for less than fair market value can be risky and may not always be successful. It is essential to talk with an attorney about your specific situation and available options.

So, if you're considering applying for Medicaid, don't be afraid to keep your home. There are many ways to make the application process more manageable and less stressful. And remember, it's always a good idea to speak with an attorney who specializes in elder law to get all of the facts specific to your case. 

Author: David Ziff is an attorney and author who lives in the beautiful state of Texas. He's written many articles on attorney issues, such as hiring a lawyer. Besides writing well-researched pieces about attorney work, David enjoys traveling and spending time with his wife and children at home.

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