Here is another denial zone for most people entering their retirement years. When you think about your retirement, it is natural that you would create a mental picture of a life of free time. You can travel, play golf or tennis, dine out, work in the garden, and otherwise enjoy your golden years in the way that you always envisioned when you were busy traversing a career path.
This is all well and as it should be, but at the same time it is important to consider the period of time that may follow your active retirement years. The numbers do not lie. A majority of senior citizens will need living assistance at some point in time, and a stay in a nursing home or an assisted living community is extremely expensive. Because of this, careful advanced planning is key.
Though Medicare does not pay for long-term care, Medicaid will pay for it if you can qualify. There is a $2000 upper resource limit which can lead you to thinking that there is no way that you will be able to qualify because of your financial holdings.
However, it should be noted that a lot of your most valuable possessions don’t count toward this figure, including your home and your vehicle. In addition, the healthy spouse of a senior citizen entering a long-term care facility can retain ownership of his or her half of the community assets up to a certain limit. In 2012, this limit is $113,640.
A lot of people will “spend down” in an effort to stay within the Medicaid limits. The tricky part is that there is a five year “look back” period and you can be penalized for divesting yourself of resources within five years of applying for Medicaid.
Given the intricacies of the qualification process expert guidance is crucial. If you would like to explore the possibility of angling toward Medicaid eligibility the wise course of action is to sit down and discuss the matter with a licensed and experienced Oklahoma City elder law attorney.
Author, President and Founding Attorney
Parman & Easterday