1232 Blue Ridge Blvd, Hoover, AL 35226

Nolan Elder Law and Estate Planning, LLC Blog

Saturday, September 23, 2017

How To Apply for Medicaid

What are the requirements to qualify for Medicaid?

Medicaid is a state administered program aimed to assist low income individuals in Alabama.  Medicaid provides health or nursing home coverage for qualifying people, including children, pregnant women, those with disabilities, and the elderly.  Medicaid is not the same as Medicare.  Though both programs provide health care coverage, Medicare is a federal program that offers health coverage to those 65 and older, no matter your income.  To learn more about applying for Medicaid in Alabama, continue reading below and contact our Birmingham elder law attorneys for assistance.

Qualifying for Medicaid 

Each state sets its own specific requirements for receiving Medicaid.  In Alabama, to qualify for Medicaid through SSI, older, blind, or disabled individuals cannot make over $753 per month or $1,123 per couple.  Additionally, you must have limited assets to qualify for coverage. Your resources, which include your checking and savings accounts, stocks, bonds, loans, cash, and real estate, cannot exceed $2,000 per month or $3,000 per couple.

Given the high costs of health care and nursing home care, it can become imperative for some older Americans to qualify for Medicaid.  Even if you exceed the income and asset requirements, there may still be steps you can take to obtain Medicaid.  Options to potentially reduce your estate in order to qualify for Medicaid include spending down, gifting, or converting your funds to a non-countable asset.  

No one wants to simply spend down their hard earned assets.  A better option is to explore the possibility of an annuity for Medicaid planning.  With an annuity, you provide a lump sum of money in exchange for regular payments back to you.  Annuities can be set up privately, such as with a friend or family member, or commercially, as with an insurance company.  It is important to note that some annuities will stop payment if you die unexpectedly, no matter how soon after payment of the lump sum.  Look for the right annuity that provides you with the most protections.

Placing funds in a qualifying trust is another great option that will preserve your assets, but still allow you to obtain Medicaid. Your estate planning attorney will review what trust options are available in your state. Get started today so that you will receive the health care and nursing home coverage you need in the future

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