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What Is a Medicaid Trust in Massachusetts?

Long-term care is one of the most expensive costs you may come across later in your life. In the Boston area, the average monthly cost for nursing home care is approximately $12,700. A Medicaid trust can be useful for estate planning if you think you or your spouse may need long-term care at some point.

This type of trust can allow you to qualify for Medicaid to help pay for long-term care while preserving your savings for your family. Creating a Medicaid trust can give you peace of mind when thinking about your future.

When you get older, you may find that your health care needs are far beyond what your family can provide for you. Medicare and traditional insurance don’t typically cover long stays in a nursing home or transportation to medical appointments.

Medicaid, called MassHealth in Massachusetts, is a federal and state program that pays for health care for certain low- and medium-income people. MassHealth Standard pays for long-term care services for people aged 65 and older. Each state sets strict limits on Medicaid eligibility based on your financial assets and income. Because of this, a legal professional can be instrumental in helping you with asset protection in an effort to be eligible in the future for MassHealth Standard.

Matthew Karr, Esq., at The Heritage Law Center is extremely knowledgeable about MassHealth rules and he’s here to help you protect your assets with the right estate plan, so you can prepare to meet the eligibility requirements. Reach out to discuss a Medicaid trust for your assets.

What Is MassHealth?

MassHealth is a government-funded health insurance program for people with limited assets and income. As you age, you may find you require long-term care services, which can be very costly in the Boston area. It’s important to consider the costs of future care and make a long-term plan to pay for that care. MassHealth Standard coverage can help but there are eligibility requirements for this program that you must meet.

Since you can only have a certain amount of assets to be eligible for this program, you need a good estate plan to help you protect some assets for your children but still let you qualify for MassHealth.

Advanced planning is needed especially since MassHealth has a five-year look-back period, meaning they can look at the past five years of your financial history to review your assets for eligibility. That means planning as soon as possible is essential.

Creating a Medicaid Trust

A Medicaid trust is a type of irrevocable trust; it can’t be amended once it’s created. The grantor of the trust, the person who created it, names a trustee to be in charge of the assets placed in its protection.

By putting your assets in a Medicaid trust, you can safeguard them from affecting your MassHealth eligibility. Various assets can be put in a Medicaid trust, including:

  • Your home
  • Other real estate
  • Checking and savings accounts
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Mutual funds
  • CDs

Adult children, other family members, or a third party can be designated as the trustee.

Once you have a Medicaid trust, as the grantor you no longer have access or control over its assets, so they aren’t considered your assets anymore. After 5 years, if you need to apply for MassHealth for long-term care, those assets won’t be considered countable toward your MassHealth eligibility.

That 5-year look-back period makes it essential for you to plan in advance. Working with a skilled lawyer like Matthew will help ensure that you have a strong financial plan in place for your future and your health care needs.

Don’t Risk Losing your Assets Without a Medicaid Trust

You may have resources, including property and investments, that you would like to leave to your loved ones when you pass away. To protect these gifts and be eligible for Medicaid, a Medicaid trust can help.

Setting up a trust with a lawyer’s help now can help you provide for your loved ones after you’re gone. Matthew Karr, Esq., has extensive experience with MassHealth and the complex Massachusetts laws involved in trust development and Medicaid eligibility, and he’s prepared to take action to create a trust and build an estate plan for your specific needs.

Connect with us at The Heritage Law Center today by calling 617-299-6976 or by completing the online form below for your free consultation.