Many people in the middle class think that government benefits are not for them. They make the mistake of assuming that all government assistance is for less well off people and they fail to properly plan for Medicaid. The truth is that Medicaid operates as a safety net for the poor and the middle class alike.
Long term care in a nursing home is incredibly expensive and often beyond the means of the middle class. As medical science advances, people live longer and longer. This means that more people in the middle class will eventually need long term care in a nursing home. Because of these realities Congress has expanded Medicaid over the years from its original purpose to assist only the poor. Many middle class Americans are now eligible for benefits.
Receiving Medicaid benefits is not as easy as filling out a form and waiting for checks to arrive. It is still a means-tested program and middle class Americans need to plan carefully to qualify. At a minimum, the planning needs to be done five years before someone expects to need long term care because transfers of assets made within five years of needing assistance can disqualify someone from receiving benefits.
Talk to an attorney about planning for Medicaid. Most people do not know when they will need long term care, so most people can not afford to wait until later to make plans.
Duffy Law Office is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.