As a Certified Financial Planner, I recommend that my clients with assets of over $300,000 buy this very important coverage, called Long Term Care Insurance. But what if they are not qualified medically to do so? They may be rated up because of poor health. Or, what if the premiums are too high for it to be a practical purchase on their limited budget?
The alternative is Medicaid Planning. Many people do not realize that there are legal ways to shelter assets. Yes, you can stay within Medicaid regulations and still keep a large amount of your money and your home for your heirs even if you find yourself confined to a nursing home. How do we do that? First let me give you some basic information.
When you apply for Medicaid (Minnesota Medical Assistance), you must disclose all of your current assets and you must also disclose any gifts that you have given in the past 60 months. Medicaid authorities will process your application, and let you know within 30 days whether you qualify for Medical Assistance. If you are turned down, you will be told that you have to spend down your excess assets. In Minnesota you must have no more than $3,000 of assets for medicaid eligibility.
The so called “60 month look back period” allows the authorities to determine whether there may be a period of ineligibility assessed against you for prior gifting. That period of ineligibility begins with the submission of the Medicaid application.
People are surprised to learn, however, that there are many people receiving Medical Assistance in Minnesota who are not poor, and who have learned the techniques to legally shelter their assets.