If you are 65 or older, you may be considering Medicaid to help cover the costs of long-term care. If you are, it’s important to know that you aren’t automatically eligible for Medicaid. You must meet certain financial criteria to get the benefits of Medicaid in Massachusetts — known as MassHealth.
It can be confusing trying to determine if you’re eligible for Medicaid and how to manage your assets in order to qualify. At The Law Offices of Kimberly Butler Rainen, we want to help clear up any confusion and get your assets sorted so you don’t miss out on the coverage offered by MassHealth. Our Medicaid planning attorney can help set up a personalized Medicaid estate plan that protects some of your assets from Medicaid, so that you meet the eligibility limits while retaining valuable assets for your family.
What are the Benefits of Medicaid?
There are several types of MassHealth coverage available to people ages 65 and older. Depending on the plan, MassHealth covers expenses such as:
- Inpatient and outpatient healthcare services, including hospitals, clinics, doctors and dentists
- Medical services such as prescription drugs, medical equipment, lab tests, X-rays and dentures
- Mental health and addiction treatment
- Pharmacy services
- Personal care attendant services
- Long-term care services
- Hospice services
- Emergency ambulance transportation
We can help you determine which MassHealth plan makes the most sense for you and help make sure you’re eligible.
Who Is Eligible for Medicaid in Massachusetts?
To be eligible for MassHealth, you must meet certain requirements, including income requirements. You must be a resident of Massachusetts and a US citizen or have the proper immigration status. You must be 65 years or older, blind or disabled. You must also meet certain medical requirements based on the level of care you need.
MassHealth considers the income and assets of both you and your spouse when determining eligibility. MassHealth divides assets into countable and exempt assets. Countable assets include retirement, savings and bank accounts. These assets must be used to pay for long-term care before you can be eligible for Medicaid. Exempt assets are not looked at when determining your eligibility for Medicaid. Exempt assets include your home, a personal vehicle, life insurance policies and household goods.
What Income Levels Qualify for MassHealth?
Each MassHealth program has its own income and financial eligibility requirements. We can look at your own income level against the various programs to help determine what may make sense for your situation.
If your income is too high to be eligible for Medicaid, you may still qualify by meeting deductible.
What Assets Are Protected from Medicaid?
Because Medicaid takes your assets into consideration when determining eligibility, you may want to protect some of your assets through an irrevocable living trust. A trust allows you to shield some of your assets so that they are no longer assigned to you, but instead become property of the trust and legally owned by a trustee. That way, you can bring down the value of your assets enough to be eligible for MassHealth without having to sell them off or otherwise divest them.
Assets you can protect from Medicaid include:
- Real property, including your house
When you move real property into a trust, you can still access the income, but it’s not counted against you for Medicaid purposes. On the other hand, when you move cash into a trust, you won’t have access to it if you need it.
It can be challenging to determine which assets to protect from Medicaid. At The Law Offices of Kimberly Butler Rainen, we can help you figure out which assets to keep liquid and which to move into a trust to make sure that you’re completely covered. We can also help you annuitize or retitle assets so you can qualify for Medicare. Our expert Medicaid lawyer uses exemptions in the law to retitle or reallocate assets so you’re eligible for Medicaid.
Trust The Law Offices of Kimberly Butler Rainen for Your Family’s Medicaid Planning
At The Law Offices of Kimberly Butler Rainen, we care about making sure your family is taken care of at any age. Whether you’re looking for Medicaid eligibility for yourself, a spouse, a partner or a parent, our Medicaid lawyer is here to make sure the requirements are met and that you can keep your assets in your family.
We’ve helped many families in Andover, Massachusetts, set up trusts and protect assets so that they qualify for MassHealth, and we know we can do the same for you. For a free consultation with a Medicaid lawyer, call 978-494-6730 or contact us online.
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