Medicaid is a public health insurance program provided by federal and state governments covering people with low income, the elderly and the disabled. According to Medicaid.gov, the program provides coverage for over 72 million people.
It is never too late for you to look at Medicaid. This may be the most common mistake. Here are three more frequent missteps in Medicaid planning.
1. Applying at the wrong time
Applying for Medicaid too early can negatively affect your loved one, resulting in a longer ineligibility period.
You may lose out on months of financial assistance if you apply too late. It may also hurt you if you rid yourself of too many assets before approval or spend most of your estate by having to cover nursing home expenses.
2. Not knowing about ‘Spend Down’
Medicaid looks at the amount of money you have as criteria for eligibility. You can spend down enough for you to qualify if you have too much money to apply for Medicaid.
You can apply medical expenses such as health insurance, doctors’ visits and prescription costs toward the spend down amount.
3. Transferring assets too soon
Spending money and getting rid of assets too soon goes along with applying for Medicaid too early. Transferring certain assets within the 5-year look-back may trigger a penalty period and delay benefits. The more money you try to get rid of within the 5-year period before applying, the longer the penalty period.
Knowing how to plan for Medicaid may make the process easier and faster and may also keep you and your loved one financially and medically stable.