If you intend to use Medicaid to pay for your long-term care needs, starting your planning before you reach a crisis can help you save money and retain property for your beneficiaries.
There are many ways to manage your assets so that you qualify for Medicaid. However, the earlier you begin planning, the more options you can explore.
Medicaid planning strategies
If you own property or have significant savings, you may not qualify for Medicaid to help you pay for long-term care. You can reduce your personal wealth by transferring assets to your spouse or gifting property to family members. You can also use a trust to avoid spending all your savings on care expenses. A trust can also help you pass on assets to your beneficiaries in a more efficient, cost-effective way.
Although these strategies can help you qualify for Medicaid, you should complete these transfers at least five years before you need coverage. This is because Medicaid has a look-back period to examine your transactions. There are some exceptions, such as transferring ownership of your home to your spouse. Nevertheless, it is advantageous to start planning before your need long-term care.
Other long-term care plans
There are other long-term care planning options. For example, you can invest in long-term care insurance to help you deal with expenses. This can be a good option for high-asset married couples. Some life insurance plans include a combined long-term care coverage option, too.
It is important to start thinking about long-term care before you need it. If you plan to use Medicaid, you can create a strategy for transferring your assets early.