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When it comes to life planning in your golden years, healthcare shouldn’t be something you need to worry about. Programs like Medicaid and Medicare are in place to support the aged and those with limited means in paying for the medical care they require. Sometimes, however, these plans have complex requirements that can threaten those assets you wish to leave to your heirs. Happily, a good local lawyer can help you navigate those requirements and preserve your estate. 

How Does Medicaid Work?

Medicaid is a program that provides health insurance coverage to those who are aged, blind, or disabled, with severely limited income and resources, and who also qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) support. Additionally, Medicaid is a joint health insurance program between the federal government and each state, and sometimes the state’s requirements for eligibility differ from the Social Security Administration’s requirements for SSI. Ohio is one of those states with its own specific set of requirements. 

Qualifying for Medicaid can be a difficult process for the elderly, and something you desperately need to cover the expenses of care programs such as assisted living facilities—especially if you’re trying to protect your assets to leave an inheritance behind. There are specific rules governing asset allowances, what qualifies as exempt, what assets must be counted, how much of a monthly income are permissible, and more. Professional guidance is crucial to being approved for Medicaid with the least expense possible in an efficient and timely manner while still protecting your estate. 

How Does Medicare Work?

Unlike Medicaid, Medicare is a fully federal health coverage program available to those age 65 and above who have worked long enough (or had a spouse that worked long enough) in employment that paid Medicare taxes. There are various parts to Medicare: Part A is hospital insurance, while Part B is medical insurance. Generally, you don’t have to pay a premium for Part A if you meet certain requirements. Part B, however, is optional and requires you pay a premium to receive the coverage, but you can be penalized for turning it down. (If you are younger than 65 and have a disability, or have End-Stage Renal Disease - ESRD - you may also qualify for Medicare.) There is also Part C (Medicare Advantage) which includes both Part A and B with additional coverage. Part D is Medicare’s prescription drug coverage program. 

Medicare can be limited, leaving gaps in the elderly’s insurance coverage. One big limitation is that Medicare often won’t cover long-term care in a nursing home or other assisted living facility. As the aged often need this costly support, planning for Medicare’s limitations, coordinating other assets, and dealing with Medicaid requirements can require a carefully orchestrated and detailed plan. 

Plan With A Professional

When you’re planning for your family’s future, it pays to retain a team of knowledgeable professionals to ensure that future is protected. A good attorney is one such team member, and a good local attorney is best. I, Harry Bernstein, am a seasoned lawyer who has the training and the experience to guide you through Medicaid and Medicare planning in Ohio. If you are lacking other advisors to assist you, I can also provide a team to bring additional support to bear. The first step in planning for healthcare in your later years is to give me a call. Reach out to me via the contact form below, or call my office at 216-600-0124 now!