Solving The Mysteries Of Medicare And Medicaid
Because the names and purposes of these two government programs are similar, people often confuse them. However, the qualifications for Medicare and Medicaid are quite different. At Metz, Bailey & McLoughlin, LLP, we understand how frustrating it can be to make important decisions about your future when the options are complicated and mistakes in planning can be so costly.
Our attorneys are part of the community in Columbus and surrounding areas in Ohio. We are dedicated to helping our neighbors access the benefits they need without sacrificing everything they own.
The government provides this health insurance for all citizens who meet the following requirements:
- Age 65
- Worked for at least 10 years
- Paid into the Social Security program during that time
The amount you paid into the system will determine whether you will pay a premium for your Medicare coverage. You also must consider the limitations on the services Medicare covers. For example, Medicare does not pay for nursing home care. We can help you explore options to prepare for these expenses and answer other questions regarding elder planning needs.
Understanding Medicaid And Medicaid Spend-Down
This program is a little more complex since eligibility is based on your income and assets. While Medicaid will help cover your nursing home care, you may not qualify if you have too many assets. In such cases, you may have a “spend-down,” which, in simplest terms, means you will have to use up the amount of money that is above your eligibility limit. It is important to resist the urge to give away your money without speaking to an attorney.
Medicaid delays your eligibility one month for every $6,570 you gift during a look-back period of five years. This figure fluctuates with the cost of nursing home care.
Spend-down can quickly create a hardship if one spouse must qualify for care, leaving a healthy spouse with little to live on. Our attorneys have assisted many families in planning for Medicaid eligibility with numerous options the government allows you to take to protect your assets from depletion. For example, several kinds of trusts and programs may suit your needs.
Don’t Navigate These Challenges Alone
One thing you do not want to face is reaching retirement age full of fear and uncertainty. Seniors who are anxious about their health and financial well-being tend to be vulnerable to scams and deception. Our lawyers will work to make sure you understand every option available to you so you have the knowledge you need to make prudent decisions.