Planning for Long-Term Care Costs
As we and our loved ones age, we become more and more dependent upon healthcare services. Eventually, many elderly individuals need continuous long-term skilled care at a nursing facility; however, nursing home care is expensive and being able to afford a nursing home is often a tremendous challenge. The high cost of long-term care can rapidly diminish even a life’s worth of saving in a relatively brief period of time.

It is common for many independent-minded elderly persons to attempt to pay for nursing home care costs on their own. Even those who have worked hard and carefully saved for decades can quickly see their savings significantly reduced. Sadly, the money intended for an individual’s "golden years" or that which they planned to leave to a spouse or loved ones is rapidly consumed by medical costs. Interested in protecting their hard-earned assets, many individuals chose an alternative. They seek the assistance of an elder law attorney to guide them through the process of Medicaid (MassHealth) Planning.

Protecting Your Hard-Earned Assets
Medicaid (MassHealth) Planning is a strategic, asset-arranging approach to the high cost of nursing home care. It is offered to individuals who are interested in making decisions in advance about how to spend their savings or transfer their assets before the costs of skilled nursing care set in. The benefit of Medicaid (MassHealth) Planning is twofold.

  1. By arranging assets prior to receiving skilled nursing care, the individual is free to decide where and to whom their assets will go. So, for instance, an individual can transfer their funds or assets to a spouse, or children.
  2. By releasing the funds and assets to the persons or institutions of their choice, the individual qualifies themselves for Medicaid (MassHealth) assistance when the skilled care needs to be provided.

How it Works
Medicaid (MassHealth) is a needs-based social welfare program provided to eligible Massachusetts residents who are unable to afford health insurance or otherwise pay for their own medical needs. Not to be confused with Medicare, an aged-based social welfare program, Medicaid is the government’s primary pay source for nursing home care. Commonly referred to simply as MassHealth in the state of Massachusetts, Medicaid (MassHealth) is a combination of both state and federal funding that covers a wide array of health services. Qualifying for Medicaid (MassHealth) is determined by meeting certain financial requirements. The extent of an individual’s income and/or assets is the basis for eligibility.

The concept behind Medicaid (MassHealth) Planning is a simple one. An individual interested in protecting his or her assets, such as a home, savings, or stock accounts makes an affirmative decision to transfer these assets to a spouse or loved ones before entering the nursing home. In doing this, the individual will reduce his or her assets and qualify for Medicaid (MassHealth). Upon entering the nursing home, Medicaid (MassHealth) will then completely fund all expenses for the individual’s nursing home care.

 

Compassionate and Effective Counseling
There is no question that Medicaid (MassHealth) Planning is a challenging time for individuals and Worcester Elder Law Attorney, Paula Smith, is very sensitive to that reality. It is often quite difficult for individuals to relinquish control and possession of homes and savings they have owned for many years, even when they know it is for the best, and can determine where and to whom these items go. Moreover, many elderly individuals who have spent their lives providing and caring for others often wrestle with a loss of independence at this time.

Paula Smith’s approach to handling Medicaid (MassHealth) Planning for you or your loved one is as much about compassion as it is about strategically analyzing the most effective way to allocate assets. She takes pride in knowing her clients, understanding their needs, and at the same time, guiding them with the necessary skill and knowledge to effectively address any and all legal complications they confront throughout the Medicaid (MassHealth) Planning process.