Medicaid: You can shield some of your assets

Medicaid has it's place, and it helps the elderly get the medication and care they need as they age. Patients have only three choices when it comes to paying for extended care. They can use their own money and pay privately, use Medicaid or use long-term care insurance. Medicaid is a means-tested program, which means that you aren't allowed to own much property or many assets if you want to qualify.

If you have an estate flush with assets, this may be distressing to you. How can you protect what you've put together for your beneficiaries? Why does your health care have to wipe out all you've saved?

There may be some ways to protect yourself. The first is to transfer property to your beneficiaries before you need long-term care. While there is a look-back period of five years where it would get noticed if you transferred many assets just to qualify, if you transfer your assets a few years before needing Medicaid, you could avoid losing them or having to spend them to qualify.

Another thing you can try is to have a caregiver agreement. This is an agreement that recognizes that someone has to provide care not covered by Medicaid. This has the potential to shield a portion of your assets needed to pay the individual for his or her services.

These are just two ways you could avoid losing your assets to receive Medicaid. If you begin to plan early, there are many ways, including these, that could help you shield your assets and leave more to the people you love. Our site has more information.

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