Key Differences Between Crisis and Long-Term Medicaid Planning

Planning for the possibility that you will need to use Medicaid is something that should be done as soon as possible. Due to the fact that it is often unpredictable if, or when, you will need Medicaid, however, many people put off the planning until the last minute. While it is always best to begin your long-term Medicaid planning as soon as possible, there are also options available if you are in a crisis. Take a moment to learn the differences between crisis Medicaid planning and long-term Medicaid planning here.

Immediate Need Vs. Planning Ahead

The first big difference between these two options is going to be how long you have until you need Medicaid services. If you are healthy and aren’t even sure if you will ever require the use of Medicaid, you will want to start the long-term planning now so you’re ready should it ever be necessary. If you or a loved one has had an accident or illness that requires the assistance of a long-term care facility, on the other hand, you will need to quickly engage in crisis Medicaid planning.

Protecting Your Assets

With both long-term and crisis Medicaid planning, one of the goals is to protect your assets. In order to qualify for Medicaid, your income and available assets must be below a certain level. With long-term Medicaid planning, you can use instruments like trusts to keep certain assets from being counted toward your available funds. With crisis planning, it may be necessary to ‘spend down’ your assets to the point where you qualify for the program.

Levels of Control

Another major difference is the level of control you will have over what you can do. With long-term planning, you can take some time to weigh out your options, and take the right steps based on your current and potential future needs. With crisis planning, however, you need to act quickly or many of your assets will have to be liquidated in order to pay for your medical care until Medicaid kicks in.

Protecting Your Spouse

If you are married, engaging in long-term Medicaid planning can help ensure that your spouse is protected should you have to enter an assisted living community. While there are certain protections in place even during crisis planning, the options are much greater when you plan things out in advance. For example, putting some of your assets in a trust with both of you listed as beneficiaries will ensure they are there for the spouse that is still living at home.

No Matter Your Situation, We Can Help

Whether you are healthy and don’t think you’ll need Medicaid, or you’ve just received news that you will need this type of coverage right away, we can help. Working with an experienced Medicaid attorney can help you protect your estate and ensure it is there for your loved ones today and long into the future. Contact ProActive Legal Care to discuss all your options. No matter what situation you are facing, we are here to help you every step of the way.

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