Medicaid can be a crucial source of coverage for long-term care services for many seniors. However, there are some common misconceptions about how Medicaid for long-term care works. Understanding the facts can help you make informed plans about your or your loved one’s future care needs.
There are three common misconceptions that you should know when you start planning for your long-term care needs.
1. Medicaid will only pay for nursing home care
You may have heard that Medicaid will only pay for care in a nursing home setting. In fact, Medicaid also covers long-term care services delivered in the home or community for those who qualify.
2. You have to spend down all your assets to qualify
Another misconception is that you have to spend down all your assets before qualifying for Medicaid long-term care coverage. Medicaid does have asset limits, but there are options such as spousal impoverishment provisions and income-only trusts that can help married couples preserve some assets.
3. You can simply gift away assets before applying
Some think they can gift or transfer assets before applying for Medicaid to meet the program’s asset limits. However, Medicaid has a 5-year look-back period during which gifting assets can disqualify you from Medicaid coverage for a certain period.
Getting accurate information is critical when planning for potential long-term care needs and considering options such as Medicaid. The more you understand the truth behind these common misconceptions, the easier it is to complete your long-term care planning and ensure that you have the resources to meet your future needs.