As a senior, you probably already know a few things about federal programs like Medicare and Medicaid. For example, you may understand that both programs provide older Americans with critical medical benefits.
Many Florida residents mistakenly believe Medicare will pay for long-term care services if needed. Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover these expenses, which could compromise your health and survivability.
What’s the difference between Medicaid and Medicare?
Medicare is a federal health insurance program to help those 65 and older meet the often extraordinary costs of health care incurred as you age. It can cover prescription drugs, hospital stays and medical services and supplies.
Medicaid covers a broader range of services, including long-term care, but you must meet strict financial requirements to qualify. Many seniors do not know this and discover they are ineligible for Medicaid when they need it.
How can you qualify?
You might not know this, but it is not unlawful to spend away your assets to ensure Medicaid eligibility. Known widely as “Medicaid spenddown,” here are some ways to reduce your assets appropriately and qualify for benefits.
- Prepaying funeral and burial expenses can dispose of a large sum, and you’ll get something valuable in return.
- Paying off your current legitimate debt lowers your countable assets and relieves you of at least some monthly financial obligations.
- Paying for caregiver services reduces your income and assets and may help you stay in your home instead of a nursing home.
The good news is that there is much more you can do to ensure you qualify for Medicaid without substantially altering your lifestyle. Medicaid planning, a subcategory within the estate planning industry, can help you develop other strategies to spend down your assets. In turn, you will gain peace of mind and health care security throughout your golden years.