What Age to Create a Medicaid Trust in Massachusetts
Long-term nursing care is extremely expensive, averaging $150,000 annually in the Boston area, and the reality is that approximately 70 percent of people over the age of 65 will require long-term care at some point. Medicaid trusts protect assets and allow people to qualify for Medicaid coverage for long-term care. You just need to meet the income and asset limits to get this coverage. Medicaid is a federal and state program that pays for health care for certain low- and medium-income people.
To prevent your assets from impacting your financial qualification for Medicaid, you need to plan ahead. It’s important to create a Medicaid trust early because if you create this trust less than five years before Medicaid is needed, it will be too late.
When it comes to protecting your assets and getting the care you need, Matthew Karr, Esq., at The Heritage Law Center is here to help. With a savvy, experienced attorney on your side, you can rest easy knowing that you’re putting a Medicaid trust in place so you can preserve assets for your children and shield those assets from MassHealth (Medicaid in Massachusetts).
What is a Medicaid Trust?
A Medicaid trust is a type of irrevocable trust. This means the assets in the trust can’t be removed or returned to the grantor (the person who created the trust). As the grantor, you’re no longer the owner of these funds. After five years, anything in this trust won’t be considered part of your estate during a MassHealth application.
When creating a Medicaid trust, you must name a trustee. You may choose from your children, friends, other family members, or a third-party representative. Once your assets are placed in a Medicaid trust, they’ll no longer be accessible to you, but in the trust wording you get to choose how they’ll be distributed when you pass away, and the trust will help you be eligible for Medicaid coverage for long-term care.
Why Should I Create a Medicaid Trust Now?
As we age, we have more significant health care needs. It’s difficult to see a future where we need private care in the home and even more difficult to see ourselves needing to be cared for in a nursing home. However, this is the reality for many older adults. Medicaid funds long-term care health needs, which means you’re covered even as your health needs change.
The asset threshold to qualify for Medicaid, however, is low. This means you’re required to spend your assets to cover your health care costs until you reach this low dollar amount.
MassHealth also has a five-year look-back period. That means they can review up to five years of your financial records before approving your application. If you make a Medicaid trust and then need to apply for Medicaid within those five years, you will either be denied coverage or there will be a disqualification period on your eligibility (a length of time you won’t be eligible for MassHealth).
If you don’t put the proper asset protection in place now, you could leave your loved ones with nothing. And don’t forget about Medicaid estate recovery. Medicaid can try to recover the cost of benefits paid on your behalf from the portion of your estate that goes through probate.
Connect with Our Attorney to Create your Medicaid Trust Today
Getting the care you need as you age can be tough but it’s a priority that needs advance planning. Worse, applying for MassHealth can be complex with the burdensome and often confusing application process.
The good news is that a knowledgeable attorney like Matthew Karr can make a big difference. The Heritage Law Center is ready to guide you through planning for the possibility of long-term care, so you can feel confident that your assets are being protected and ensure your health care needs will be covered.
Ready to talk to our lawyer through a free consultation? Reach out today by calling 617-299-6976 or completing the online form below to learn how a Medicaid trust can work for you.