What You Need to Know About Medicaid Eligibility As You Age

In recent years, the cost of care for elderly people — such as nursing home enrollment, adult daycare programs, and in-home care — has skyrocketed beyond what most people can afford. Even people who have never struggled to make ends meet financially throughout their adulthood look at the costs of being cared for as they age and think, “There is no way I will ever be able to afford that.”

How do people afford care with the rising costs?

Medicaid can help you pay for a nursing home and long-term care, but first you need to qualify. Medicaid was created for low-income families and individuals. For that reason, your income and assets need to be below a certain threshold in order for you to be eligible. According to the American Council On Aging, on average, in 2019 a single individual who is 65 or older would need to have an income of less than $2,313 a month to be eligible for nursing home Medicaid, assisted living Medicaid (in states where it exists), and Medicaid for in-home care. There are also limits for how much property and assets you can own to qualify, which creates the need for many elderly people to spend down their assets in order to become eligible. However, different states have different limits for different Medicaid programs, and navigating the rules without the help of an attorney can be difficult.

What can I do if I am over the limits but cannot afford the care I need?

With the help of an attorney, you can create a Medicaid plan to find a way to qualify. As part of your estate plan and elder care plan, you can strategize for the likelihood that you will need expensive long-term care. You can also do Medicaid planning in a crisis, but it’s best to do it before your situation becomes dire. Your lawyer can help you re-structure your finances so that you become eligible for the help you need.

Who can help me?

If you are struggling to pay for care or want to prepare for that likely eventuality, contact an elder law attorney. At Amsberry Law Firm, we have the knowledge and experience to help you make sure you will be cared for as you age. We offer free consultations for new clients, so don’t hesitate to give us a call at (210) 354-2244.