Numbers in our area say that two out of three individuals aged 65 or older will need extended health care during their retirement. More than half of nursing home residents turned to Medicaid for assistance with the devastating cost of nursing home care.

I want to cover some myths about Medicaid planning to release that stress away.

The first myth about Medicaid is that many people think that they have too many assets to qualify. But with the cost of nursing homes in our area being eight to ten thousand dollars a month, most people can't afford to sustain that for any length of time. And those numbers keep on climbing.

Another myth about Medicaid planning is that many people think it means that you're hiding your assets, but that is not what we are doing. Think of it like tax planning. The tax code has various credits and deductions, and you can engage in tax planning to use those to the best advantage to pay as little taxes as possible. The Medicaid rules are the same way. There are different exemptions and allowances, things that you are legally allowed to do. We make use of those rules to help you get the best result for your circumstances.

Many people think they need to spend down their assets to qualify for Medicaid. On the flip side, maybe they think they need to sell their home, or probably you have even heard people talk about Medicaid taking your home away from you. That is not how it works. But at the same time, you have to put a plan in place, or those things could happen. So it is not automatic. 

The fourth myth is that if your loved one is already in a nursing home, you might think that means it is too late to plan, but that is not the case. One of the things that a qualified Medicaid attorney can help you with is developing a 'spend-down plan.' That doesn't mean we're just frivolously spending your money. We are looking at those various exemptions and what we are allowed to do to help you protect as much of those assets and stretch them as far as possible.

The fifth Medicaid myth is to rely solely on Medicaid as your long-term care plan. In North Carolina, Medicaid primarily helps with nursing home-level care. Still, it provides very little assistance for in-home care, assisted living, or memory care. It makes sense to look at whether Medicaid could be part of your long-term care plan if you need nursing home care or making sure you have a plan in place if you need in-home care or other forms of care.

These are just a few of the Medicaid myths that we encounter, and without a doubt, this stuff can be confusing and overwhelming. We want to help make it simple. Click here to learn more about long-term care planning options, or keep reading about Medicare or Medicaid as part of your planning. You can also subscribe to the free online seminar 3 Secrets to Protect Your Family Without Going Broke or Being a Burden.

Give our office a call at (919) 443-3035, and we will help you get started.

Jackie Bedard
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Attorney, Author, and Founder of Carolina Family Estate Planning