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The Heritage Law Center, LLC Blog

Why MassHealth Planning Is Important for Seniors

POSTED ON: May 26, 2023

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MassHealth (Medicaid in Massachusetts) is a healthcare program that provides healthcare and assistance to individuals who meet certain guidelines. These rules apply to their income and assets and have a five-year look-back period. This means that your loved one’s bank statements, going back five years from the date of your application will be thoroughly examined.

It doesn’t take much to be disqualified, and the complexity of MassHealth’s eligibility rules can be difficult to deal with. You can also connect with a MassHealth planning attorney that can guide you through this entire process. Here’s what you need to know from Matthew Karr, Esq., and his team at The Heritage Law Center.

Protecting Your Savings

Not planning for MassHealth means that unexpected events can hit much harder from a mental and financial point of view. If your loved one needs long-term assistance, you may have no other choice but to spend your savings on private care. Even a few months will turn extremely expensive, with the chance that it won’t be enough for their recovery.

Taking action before illness or injury is vital. If you don’t take action in time to consider the five-year look-back period, you may find yourself denied even if you begin taking action. The top benefit of MassHealth planning is the ability to protect your savings and assets.

Strategic Spend-Down Strategies

Taking preemptive action before applying means that you have the time necessary to think of effective spend-down strategies. For many people, avoiding a spend down is not possible, but with an attorney’s guidance on your estate plan, this step can be done in a way that will improve their quality of life by transferring countable assets into non-countable elements.

For example, annuities are a factor that will affect your MassHealth eligibility, but immediate annuities are contracts made with insurance companies that will pay you back with a fixed amount of money every month. This process is not treated as a transfer of assets if handled appropriately by an estate planning attorney.

Seniors Can Keep Their Home

MassHealth can place a lien on your senior’s primary residence, as the program typically takes profits from its sale in an attempt to recover costs from members. This can leave families in precarious positions, which is why taking precautions is important. You have multiple options when you want to protect your home.

A common option is using trusts that can’t be accessed by healthcare programs or directly gifting the home to a family member. A lawyer can help you make the best choice according to the circumstances and the amount of time you’ll stay away from home.

Connect with a MassHealth Planning Attorney

Qualifying for MassHealth benefits without proper planning can be overwhelming and difficult, but a lawyer can make this process simpler. Multiple family members may have to deal with unexpected problems, especially if long-term nursing care in specialized facilities is required.

Because of this, you may need to speak with Matthew Karr, Esq., to obtain the guidance needed to handle your assets and the paperwork. You can get started today with a free consultation. All it takes is a call at 617-299-6976. You can also reach us through the contact form below.