Medicaid eligibility rules are strict, because Medicaid is meant to be a program for people who have limited income and few resources. If you want to become eligible for Medicaid coverage, you will need to make certain that you understand what the rules are for eligibility and must make certain that you can meet the criteria set forth by the state of Massachusetts and by the federal government. Medicaid is run as a federal / state partnership and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services imposes rules that must be followed when it comes to benefits eligibility and coverage.
Medicaid eligibility becomes increasingly important as you age, since your medical needs may increase and Medicaid can cover things that Medicare and private insurance providers do not cover. For example, Medicaid is the only possible source of payment for nursing home care for the vast majority of seniors. If you do not qualify for Medicaid, your financial security and ability to leave a legacy for loved ones could be in serious jeopardy.
The Law Offices of James A. Miller can help you to understand Medicaid eligibility rules and can assist you in making a comprehensive Medicaid plan that will allow you to be covered by Medicaid if and when you need care. Call today to speak with a Massachusetts Medicaid planning lawyer who can assist you in learning all you need to know about what Medicaid is, how it helps you, and how to qualify for coverage.
What are the Key Factors That Determine Medicaid Eligibility?
There are a number of factors that determine Medicaid eligibility. As Mass.gov explains, you must be a Massachusetts resident in order to apply within the state. If you live elsewhere, you will need to follow your own state’s rules to apply. Typically, you must provide proof of citizenship as well, although certain non-citizens can become eligible for some types of health benefits under appropriate circumstances.
Beyond the basic criteria, the two biggest determining factors in assessing Medicaid eligibility include your household income and the resources that you have available to you. Income limits are listed on Benefits.gov and depend upon the size of your family.
Before taxes household income for a family size of one cannot exceed $15,800 annually in order to maintain eligibility for benefits. For a family size of two, maximum income is $21,307. For a family size of four, maximum income is $32,319. There is a chart on Benefits.gov showing specific income levels based on the number of people within your family. If you exceed allowable income levels, you cannot get covered by Medicaid. However, as Benefits.gov explains, children, pregnant women, disabled individuals and seniors may sometimes have special rules for qualification.
Resource levels matter as well. For a single person, you will generally be disqualified from Medicaid coverage if you have countable resources that exceed $2,000. For married couples, disqualification generally occurs once you have countable resources of $3,000 or greater.
For many seniors, it is resource level restrictions that can make it impossible to qualify for Medicaid coverage when you need care. You may be forced to spend down the assets and property that you own before you can get covered. You don’t want this to happen, as you want to be able to leave a legacy for your loved ones. You should call a Medicaid planning lawyer to find out what options you have for making a Medicaid plan that protects your wealth while getting you covered.
Getting Help from A Medicaid Planning Lawyer
A Medicaid planning lawyer can provide assistance in making certain that you are able to qualify for benefits coverage when you need it. You don’t want to endanger all of the assets that you have worked so hard to acquire over the course of your life. You need to make sure you can get Medicaid coverage so you are able to pay for nursing home care without spending down your assets- and you need to act long before you need Medicaid to pay your bills.
Miller will advise you on whether Medicaid planning is something that you need to do, and can help you to understand the asset protection tools that can allow you to make a Medicaid plan. You can download a free estate planning worksheet to learn more about what is involved in Medicaid planning and why it is so important. You can also give us a call at 508-799-8885 or contact us online to to speak with a member of our legal team who can assist you with your personalized plan.