Long-Term Care and Medical Assistance Planning
It is often surprising for people to learn that Medicare, the federal health care program for seniors (age 65 and over), does not cover the cost of “custodial” care arrangements, such as assisted living care expenses. Contrast Medicare with Medicaid. All 50 States have a Medicaid program. In Minnesota, that program is called Medical Assistance, or “MA” for short. Part of MA is designed to help seniors with limited assets pay for their long-term care, either in their own home or an assisted living facility or nursing home.
Minnesota law requires that a senior have no more than $3,000 in assets to qualify for MA, not including certain assets, such as a primary residence, household goods and personal effects, one vehicle if used to transport the senior, limited funds for funeral and burial expenses, and certain other stated exceptions. Families often need to develop a plan to “spend down” assets to reach the $3,000 threshold to qualify for MA, or to lawfully transfer assets to avoid MA Estate Recovery (such as, use of an irrevocable trust).
Attorney Steve Wilson has a personal history qualifying clients for Medical Assistance, while maintaining value for his clients through a structured “spend down” plan. Steve can prepare clients for the possibility of in-home or facility-based care, explain the complicated MA eligibility requirements and how to spend down assets wisely, and apply for and qualify clients for Medical Assistance.