Medicaid is a public assistance program funded jointly by the federal government and the states. Each state has its own laws for qualification and administration of Medicaid services. In Maryland, the Medicaid program is referred to as the "Medical Assistance" program. There are many parts to the Medical Assistance program, including financial assistance for long-term care. When a person needs financial assistance for long-term care in Maryland, the Medicaid program they access is called "Medical Assistance-LTC" or "MA-LTC."
MEDICAL ASSISTANCE-LTC (MA-LTC)
The potential need for long-term care and the extremely high cost of long-term care services creates the most substantial financial risk the majority of seniors face today. As reported by longtermcare.gov, more than 10,000 people are turning 65 years old every day. Roughly 70% of those turning age 65 will need long-term care at some point in their lifetime, and 20% will need more than 5 years of care. Further, most people have little but their own resources to pay for long-term care expenses, which can be very costly.
In Maryland, according to Genworth's 2015 Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of skilled nursing facility care (nursing home care) is approximately $9,000 per month (over $100,000 per year). Depending on the facility and level of services required, costs can easily exceed that amount. Without long-term care insurance, one can see that an individual's or couple's resources will become depleted very quickly if long-term care is needed.
A very common myth is that an individual or a couple (in the case of a married person seeking MA-LTC) has to become destitute, with little or no assets, in order to qualify for MA-LTC. Many people mistakenly pay for long-term care costs out-of-pocket, deplete their life savings, and then turn to Medicaid for financing help. Resource and income limits certainly apply for MA-LTC qualification. However, many assets are not countable when it comes to qualifying for MA-LTC, including, in most circumstances, the individual's or couple's home. Additionally, by implementing legal strategies and techniques available under federal and state Medicaid laws, income and resources often can be legally protected while still preserving eligibility for MA-LTC and avoiding estate recovery by the State Medicaid agency upon your death.
Mr. McDaniel will guide you through the necessary steps to obtain MA-LTC eligibility for long-term care expenses while at the same time legally preserving assets that have taken a lifetime of work and saving to accumulate. A strategic long-term care plan involving MA-LTC and legal tools such as Irrevocable Trusts, Special Needs Trusts, Medicaid-Compliant Annuities, and Powers of Attorney can be implemented to ensure that resources and income are preserved for family and heirs rather than completely depleted on expensive long-term care costs. Determining which legal tools are appropriate will depend on your unique circumstances.
To schedule a free consultation, call (240) 707-9190.