If you’re approaching you 65th birthday, you’re probably very interested in how your healthcare costs and plan are going to change and how Minnesota’s Medical Assistance (MA) program factors into your plan. MA is our state’s Medicaid program and, for people over 65, it often picks up paying for your care when Medicare and other insurance is exhausted.
To qualify for MA as a senior, you must be a Minnesota resident, a US citizen or be lawfully present in the state, provide a social security number, and meet income and asset limits. It is this last requirement that concerns many clients.
Income limits depend on your health and living situation. For example, people who are blind or have some other disability or those with dependents will have higher income limits. If you are above these income limits, you can still be eligible for MA through a spenddown plan where you are responsible for a portion of your bills each month before MA pays the difference. This spenddown is generally any amount over your income limit, but the specifics are determined on a case-by-case basis.
Asset limits are another concern for many clients. These assets include your home, vehicle, bank account, and other investments. Protecting your assets in the event you need to qualify for the Medical Assistance program should be a consideration of your estate plan and something to discuss with your attorney.
For seniors who require extended services such as home care or additional nursing assistance, the Elderly Waiver program provides services and support for these individual to receive a level of care and comfort in their homes or in a community setting. This program is part of Medicaid and is designed to delay or prevent the need for full nursing home care. These services are in addition to what is available through standard MA programs. Eligibility for this program is determined by an assessment from your local office.
There are a variety of medical plans and programs available to residents over 65 years old and the ones mentioned here are just the tip of a complex iceberg of available medical care. Navigating these programs and maximizing the benefits available often requires expert assistance. In addition to advocates that understand the different programs available, you want to set up your estate plan and retirement income in a way that will allow you to fully enjoy your retirement while still having medical options available to you when you need them. This setup will be highly customized based on your circumstances, income sources, assets, and goals.
Elder care and estate lawyers at Virtus Law Firm can couple your estate planning goals with strategies designed to maximize your ability to use Medicare and Medical Assistance. Contact us today at 612.888.1000 or contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a consultation. We want to help you feel like you can relax and enjoy your retirement, ensured that you’ll get the medical help you need when you need it.