Under Medicaid regulations, there are several types of Exempt Transfers which will not be penalized if made by the applicant prior to applying.
The timing when an individual, or their "authorized representative", apply for Medicaid is extremely important. Applying too early or too late can result in significant unintended consequences.
It would make sense that Medicare should pay for nursing home care. Well, when it comes to long-term care in a nursing home, Medicare just doesn't cover it - at least not all of it.
The Medicaid application in North Carolina can be a tricky minefield for people experiencing it for the first time. Disability, income, assets - all with different standards and different ramifications on your (or your loved one's) eligibility. And while not all assets are treated equally, how you respond to a certain eight word question can have a very significant impact on Medicaid eligibility and future medical treatment.
Both are federal programs, both are administered at the federal level by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and they both sound pretty similar. But what's the difference between Medicaid and Medicare?
What is Medicaid?
Medicaid is an assistance program. It is meant to provide health coverage for people below a certain asset and income threshold - what Medicaid would consider impoverished. It serves people at every age, but is means-tested. Medicaid is also a federal-state program, meaning that the federal government provides funding and guidance, but the program itself is administered at the state level. Rules for eligibility and administration can vary somewhat state-to-state. At its core, Medicaid is meant to provide a health care safety net for those who would otherwise go uninsured because of a lack of means.
Medicaid can be used by the young and elderly equally. Disabled children may be eligible for Medicaid based on a marked or severe impairment, while disabled individuals 65 and older may be eligible for Medicaid Long-Term Care benefits if their disability impacts at least two activities of daily living and they are also poor, as defined by the Medicaid regulations.
What is Medicare?
Medicare is an insurance program. Often considered an "entitlement" because it is paid into during your lifetime, Medicare makes payments on behalf of a participant from trust funds which the participant has paid into through their payroll deductions throughout their professional career. Medicare primarily serves those 65 and older, regardless of their income, but it can also serve disabled individuals under age 65. Participants often pay a co-payment for health services, and will sometimes use a supplemental health insurance policy to fill the gaps in Medicare. Medicare is a federal program, so its administration is pretty much the same across the US. It is run directly by CMS, rather than at the state level.
If used properly, Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts can help Medicaid applicants keep their home a non-countable asset, but also remove the home from their estate and potential Medicaid Estate Recovery.
Many people think "Spend Down" means "spend all of the money" - but Spend Down planning actually involves converting assets, not necessarily wasting them.
Since October is Special Needs Planning Month, I figured today we would talk about Special Needs Planning, what it really is, who it applies to, what’s the family should think about it seriously and implement planning for themselves.
Small business owners will encounter a number of obstacles, but pro-active planning can help.
Another year, another rise in the unified lifetime estate and gift tax exemption.