Medicaid Pre-Planning Attorney

When it comes to long-term care, one of the most significant concerns for many families is how to pay for it without depleting their hard-earned assets. This is where Medicaid pre-planning comes in. By working with a knowledgeable Medicaid pre-planning attorney, you can proactively protect your assets and ensure eligibility for long-term care coverage when you need it most.

At Alexander Gil, PLLC, we understand the complexities of Medicaid and the importance of early planning. Our experienced elder law attorneys are here to guide you through the pre-planning process and help you make informed decisions about your future care and financial well-being.

Medicaid and Long-Term Care: What You Need to Know

Medicaid coverage is a medical assistance program that provides the elderly with access to health care services, such as nursing home care and other long-term care expenses. It is a federal and state program, and the rules vary from state to state.

If you reside in Florida and need Medicaid, Florida’s Medicaid rules apply. If you or a loved one are concerned with the high cost of long-term care and qualify for Medicaid, Alexander Gil, PLLC, can help. We understand Florida’s specific Medicaid rules and can help you through the application and approval process.

Why Medicaid Pre-Planning is Essential for Your Financial Future

Many people mistakenly believe that Medicare or their private health insurance will cover long-term care costs, such as nursing home stays or in-home assistance. However, the reality is that these options are often limited or unavailable, leaving families to bear the financial burden themselves. According to the Florida Health Care Association, the median annual cost of a private room in a nursing home in Florida is over $100,375, which can quickly deplete a lifetime of savings.

This is where Medicaid pre-planning becomes invaluable. By working with a skilled Medicaid planning attorney well before the need for long-term care arises, you can take proactive steps to protect your assets, ensure eligibility for Medicaid coverage, and preserve your legacy for your loved ones.

Medicaid pre-planning is not about “gaming the system” or exploiting loopholes. Instead, it’s about making informed decisions about your financial future and taking advantage of legal strategies designed to help families manage the high costs of long-term care.

How to Qualify for Medicaid Benefits

Medicaid planning can be complicated and confusing. Trying to qualify alone can waste valuable time and money, and many worry they won’t meet the household income or asset level to qualify for care.

Income Limits

In Florida, the income limit for Medicaid long-term care coverage is $2,829 per month for an individual (as of 2024). If your income exceeds this limit, you may still be eligible for Medicaid through “spending down” your excess income on medical expenses.

Asset Limits and Countable vs. Non-Countable Assets

Florida Medicaid also has strict asset limits. As of 2024, an individual can have no more than $2,000 in countable assets, while married couples can have up to $156,140 in assets, depending on the specific circumstances. However, not all assets are considered countable for Medicaid purposes. A Medicaid pre-planning attorney can help you understand which assets are exempt and how to structure your assets to maximize eligibility.

The Five-Year Look-Back Period and Penalty Periods

When applying for Medicaid, the state will review your financial transactions over the past five years to ensure you haven’t transferred assets for less than fair market value. This is known as the “look-back period.” If improper transfers are discovered, you may be subject to a penalty period of Medicaid ineligibility. A skilled Medicaid planning attorney can help you navigate the look-back period and avoid costly mistakes.

Medicaid Pre-Planning Strategies to Protect Your Assets

There are several strategies a Medicaid pre-planning attorney can employ to help protect your assets and ensure eligibility for long-term care coverage. These strategies must be tailored to your unique financial situation and goals.

Irrevocable Trusts

One powerful tool for protecting assets from Medicaid spend-down is an irrevocable trust. By transferring assets into an irrevocable trust, such as a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust, you can remove them from your countable resources while still providing for your loved ones. However, the trust must be properly structured and managed to comply with Medicaid rules. This is where the expertise of a Medicaid planning attorney is invaluable.

Spousal Asset Transfers and the Community Spouse Resource Allowance

For married couples, Florida Medicaid allows the non-applicant spouse (known as the “community spouse”) to retain a portion of the couple’s assets, called the Community Spouse Resource Allowance (CSRA). In 2024, the community spouse can keep up to $154,140 in countable assets. A Medicaid pre-planning attorney can help maximize the CSRA and ensure proper documentation when transferring assets between spouses.

Medicaid Compliant Annuities

Another strategy for protecting assets is to convert countable resources into a stream of income using a Medicaid-compliant annuity. These annuities must meet specific criteria to be considered exempt from Medicaid’s asset limits. An experienced Medicaid planning attorney can help you determine if a Medicaid-compliant annuity is right for your situation and guide you through the purchase process.

Long-Term Care Insurance & Medicaid Pre-Planning

Long-term care insurance can be a valuable tool for covering the costs of nursing home care and protecting assets from depletion. By purchasing a policy well in advance of needing care, you can minimize your reliance on Medicaid and maintain greater control over your care options.

However, it’s essential to carefully evaluate policy terms and coverage limits to ensure the plan meets your needs and budget. A Medicaid pre-planning attorney can help you understand how long-term care insurance fits your asset protection strategy.

Contact Our Medicaid Pre-Planning Attorney

At Alexander Gil, PLLC, our compassionate and knowledgeable elder law attorneys are dedicated to helping families navigate the complexities of Medicaid pre-planning. We understand the importance of protecting your hard-earned assets and ensuring access to quality long-term care.

If you’re ready to take the first step in securing your financial future, contact us today to schedule a consultation. Together, we can develop a comprehensive Medicaid pre-planning strategy that gives you peace of mind and the care you deserve.

Alex has been amazing throughout the whole process of my estate planning. He was able to make recommendations based on my family of what pieces to set up and walked me through why he recommended each. He's prompt on his follow up for questions and has made understanding all the documents really easy. I dreaded having to do the process until I was able to meet with Alex and calmed me down and made me feel good about the process. I'd give him 10 stars if I could.

C. U.

We recently had a beloved family member pass away and we had several questions regarding the estate. In just one thirty minute consultation, Alexander Gil identified the key issues for us to consider and provided the answers we needed to decide how to move forward. Alex followed up on our consult by reviewing documents we provided him and confirming his assessment of the situation. Our family was very impressed with his ready knowledge and caring attitude. We will certainly be engaging Alex's firm to handle our estate planning needs.

A. G.

If you ever find yourself looking for an estate planning attorney, words cannot express how much I recommend Alexander Gil. Virtual meetings where we have discussed legal matters have always been a breeze. Alex is a genuine and caring attorney who will always advocate for his clients. It's easy to tell he's not just in it for the job; he's in it to get the best for you. His expertise is unmatched and is devoted to making the process as least intimidating as possible.

M. R.

I first meet Alex when he was presenting for parents on Wills and Trusts and immediately was impressed with his approach and understanding. We proceeded with his services. Not only was he professional but he was very understanding and took the time to hear us and explain every step while answering every question we had. As a parent of a special needs adult, the process can be overwhelming and somewhat depressing but he assured us and helped us feel very good about our plans. He is now our attorney for life! Thanks Alex!!

Y. H.

Alex Gil worked with me at a very difficult time in my life. My partner had just passed away and Alex was there for me every step of the way to handle the execution of her Will and Trust. Alex ALWAYS was responsive and provided expert advice and this in my opinion is what separates Alex Gil. I have worked with many attorneys in my life due to owning my own business for the last 30 years and I HIGHLY recommend Alex based on responsiveness and cost!

A. K.