Qualifying for Medicaid without Committing Medicaid Fraud
For many senior citizens, the cost of medical care and services is a big concern. Often, healthcare plans
that were in effect while working are no longer available or are financially out of reach. Many elderly
Americans turn to the Medicaid program for assistance. Qualifying for the program can be difficult for
an individual who has even minimum assets.
Although the Medicaid program is largely funded by the federal government, each individual state
administers their own program. Because the individual states run their own Medicaid programs, the
eligibility requirements may vary somewhat from one state to the next. In all states, however, there are
both income and resources limits that apply to all applicants. An applicant who has income above the
limit or who has resources valued above the limit will be denied Medicaid benefits. For many elderly
applicants who are dependent on a fixed income, the income limit may not be a problem. The resources
limit, on the hand, can be a bar to benefits.
In many states, the resources limit is as low as $2000. For an elderly individual who has worked all his or
her life to buy a home or set aside something for the golden years, a $2000 limit on assets can be a
problem. Just signing over assets to a family member will not work because most states have a “look
back” period. Any assets transferred during that period -- as long as five years--must be divulged on an
application or it could be considered Medicaid fraud.
There are legal estate planning tools that can be used to help an elderly individual qualify for Medicaid
without losing all of his or her assets, but careful planning is essential to avoid being accused of
Medicaid fraud. Not only will an application be denied if it appears as though an applicant is hiding
assets or not being forthright about assets, but criminal charges for Medicaid fraud could also be levied
against the applicant.
If you think that you may need Medicaid coverage in the future, take the time now to consult with your
estate planning attorney about how to structure your estate in a way that will qualify you for the
program without causing you to lose the assets you have worked your entire life to acquire.
Experienced estate planning attorneys St. Louis MO of the Purcell and Amen, Attorneys at Law – Your
Estate Matters, LLC offers estate planning and business planning resources to residents of St. Louis MO.
To learn more about these free resources, please visit http://www.yourestatematters.com today.