Burlington Medicaid lawyers provide assistance to clients who want to make plans to qualify for Medicaid coverage in case they require costly medical treatment. Many people need Medicaid as they get older and experience health issues that necessitate costly care. Medicaid can also be a vital source of payments for nursing home care or long-term care services for anyone who has an illness, injury, or age-related infirmities.
Unfortunately, some Medicaid rules can make it very difficult for people to get benefits and still protect their financial security, including keeping their life savings safe so they can protect the legacy they want to leave behind. Not only are there strict limits on the amount of assets that a person can have while still qualifying for Medicaid, but there are also Medicaid estate recovery rules that mean a person could lose some of his or her valuable assets after death if that individual received Medicaid benefits over the course of his or her lifetime.
It is important to understand how Medicaid estate recovery works if you are considering applying for Medicaid benefits. There are ways to protect your money and property during your lifetime and after your death while still qualifying for Medicaid coverage, but you need to understand what exactly is involved in the process of trying to keep your wealth safe. Burlington Medicaid lawyers at Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC can help you to make effective use of legal tools to protect your assets while taking advantage of valuable Medicaid benefits to cover the high costs of important care.
What is Medicaid Estate Recovery?
Medicaid.gov explains the rules for Medicaid estate recovery. According to the federal Medicaid website, states- including Vermont- are required by law to try to recover the money that the state paid out in order to pay for nursing home care, hospital services, prescription drug services, and home and community based services. States must only try to recover this money through the estate recovery process when certain specific services were provided to a Medicaid beneficiary who was 55 years-of-age or older at the time that the Medicaid benefits were paid.
States can try to recover this money by making a claim on the estate of the person who was provided with Medicaid benefits. This means that money in the estate and the proceeds of the sales of property owned by the estate could potentially be diverted to the state of Vermont instead of going to heirs or beneficiaries who the deceased person wanted to leave the money to.
There are certain limitations on exactly what the state can try to take from the estate in the estate recovery effort, which could vary depending upon who the heirs or beneficiaries are and whether the deceased person has a surviving spouse or disabled dependents. Still, there is a significant chance that assets which a deceased person left behind for loved ones could be lost to the Medicaid estate recovery process.
How Can You Protect Yourself from Medicaid Estate Recovery?
It may be possible for you to protect your assets from Medicaid estate recovery by structuring the ownership of those assets in a strategic way. A Medicaid planning lawyer can work with you both to avoid having to spend down assets to qualify for Medicaid and to protect the assets after you pass away. It is best to begin this process at least five years before you need Medicaid to provide you with care if you want to protect the maximum value of assets.
Getting Help from Burlington Medicaid Lawyers
Burlington Medicaid lawyers at Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC can help you to make plans to protect your assets while qualifying for Medicaid. An experienced attorney can advise you on whether you should be eligible for benefits and on what you can do to avoid having to spend down your assets in order to get covered.
Your attorney can also help you to understand whether the type of Medicaid benefits you receive could potentially result in the state of Vermont trying to recover the money that was paid out to you. If Medicaid estate recovery is possible, Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC can help you to create a plan to try to keep your wealth safe after your death so you can leave the strong legacy that you expected to leave behind.
To find out more about Medicaid and how a Medicaid plan can help you, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at (802) 879-7133 or contact us online to get personalized advice from an attorney with making your plans to keep your legacy and assets secure while getting covered.