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Anticipating health setbacks is an essential part of preparing for retirement and advancing age. Even more crucial is having a plan should a crisis arise. The common misconception that estate planning only concerns financial matters often leads these concerns to be neglected. Misunderstandings concerning Medicaid compound the problem by turning even more people away from planning for their future well-being.
The Four Most Dangerous Medicaid Misunderstandings
1. Medicaid Is Only for Low-Income Adults
This commonly-circulated idea is mistaken on two fronts. First, children make up nearly half of the 72 million people in the US receiving Medicaid benefits. Second, an experienced estate planning attorney can outline strategies for ensuring you qualify for the program. While some folks simply are too wealthy, the number is far smaller than most realize.
2. Medicaid Planning Requires You to Hide Assets
Anyone pandering this idea is a person to be avoided. An honest, experienced attorney will walk you through planning approaches that work within the bounds of the law to both preserve your assets and income while also ensuring all actions are reported directly to Medicaid through the application process.
3. It Is Too Late to Get Started
No matter your age or situation, it is never too late to begin planning for your health and well-being. Of course, there are deadlines to meet but even missing these is not a game-ender in certain cases. The mechanisms by which a person may apply for Medicaid vary from individual to individual and discussing all options goes beyond the scope of the present piece but rest assured that it’s never too late to implement a plan that ensures your long-term well-being.
4. Medicaid Planning is Unethical
There are folks out there that believe the need to move certain assets out of your name in order to qualify for Medicaid make it a dubious program. Their criticism is misplaced. Instead of taking issue with Medicaid, they should take issue with a national healthcare system that forces people to liquidate all assets to pay for time in an ever more expensive nursing home.
While it is true that a person can begin building a healthcare plan at any stage in life, it is always easier to begin early. Medicaid will look back five years when investigating your finances and so starting to plan while you are still healthy provides many more options for asset preservation. This is even true if you are already of advanced age.
Even if it weren’t the case that planning is easier the earlier you start, the present circumstances should provide ample reason to jump on planning for your long-term health and well-being. After all, the Covid-19 pandemic is showing no sign of slowing down, and natural disasters that could aggravate health complications are accelerating on both coasts. Chatting with an experienced attorney is the best place to start and, naturally, we’d be happy to take your call.