If you're in need of long-term care and don't make a lot of money, you may need some assistance in the form of Medicaid. This jointly-funded program, designed for the needy and poor, can be difficult to apply for if you don't know what you're doing. Make it easy by taking these steps.
Gather the Right Financial Documents
To ensure that the application process goes smoothly and without delays, you need to gather the necessary financial documents. Try to collect bank statements going back five years, to show how much income you make on a consistent basis. The maximum amount of money you can make varies in each state, so make sure you check ahead of time to avoid wasting any time on the application.
You'll also need a social security card, letters of guardianship, wills, deeds on all property, and receipts on all automobiles. Finally, try to gather any documents that show your assets, including mortgages, promissory notes, trusts, and loans.
Protect Financial Assets
Even though Medicaid is reserved for those who don't make a lot of money, you can still protect assets in several ways. One of the most common is giving monetary gifts to your family before you get sick. Creditors will not have access to this money to pay for your long-term care. The only challenge with this option is knowing when to give these gifts, as you can't always predict when you'll get sick.
Irrevocable trusts also give you the chance to protect your assets. These trusts are shielded from expensive nursing care costs, ultimately giving you more financial security. The only downside to this method is that you can't receive principal from these trusts.
Hire a Medicaid Specialist
You may be new to this entire process, putting a lot of stress on you and your family. You can get assistance by hiring a qualified medicaid specialist. This professional knows the Medicaid laws in your state and can take you through the application process. In turn, your chances of being accepted and avoiding delays greatly go up.
These specialists also will gather the right documents and make sure your application is error-free before being sent off.
Applying for Medicaid can be a scary process, especially if you are not fully prepared. Luckily, there are actions you can take to get through this process and improve your odds of receiving such important assistance in your time of need.