“Recent studies show that health care costs for the aging population are increasing at staggering rates. According to New York State’s Office of Health Insurance Program, one year in a nursing home can cost an individual upwards of $145,000. In some regions, there are facilities where private pay rates are in excess of $200,000 per year,” states the New York Society of CPA’s article entitled “Medicaid’s Five-Year Look-Back and the Importance of Advanced Planning.” $145,000 or upwards, annually, for an individual over the age of 65 that requires long term healthcare, no matter how much you may have saved up, is an exorbitant amount to be spent out of pocket. These figures can easily cause a panic, especially for an elder person who no longer has the means to work for an income, and must plan according to their current financial situation. Thankfully, there is an option to help you preserve your assets and get long term healthcare, at the same time! “Currently, Medicaid is the only governmental insurance program that covers the cost of long-term care. Medicaid is a “means-tested” program enacted by Congress in order to address the health care needs of individuals who cannot afford to privately pay for long-term care. Medicaid is a jointly funded, federal-state health insurance program for low-income and needy individuals,” the article informs. Just like any other government benefit program, guidelines for Medicaid are strict, must be adhered to, and differ from state to state.
Medicaid planning can be very financially involved, and may take many years to properly set up. This is why it is in your best interest to seek the advice of an attorney when you begin to think about planning for Medicaid. It is important to note that for certain types of Medicaid, the lookback period for financial records is 5 years. That means that for up to 60 months before the date you may need to apply for Medicaid, all of your finances must have already been in accordance with Medicaid guidelines to be eligible without any penalties.
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