Retiring typically means living on a fixed income, so older adults must make use of all the resources available to them. Medical insurance provided by the state is a resource that many people require to better ensure that they receive proper medical care as they age.
Once people reach retirement age in Louisiana, they qualify for Medicare coverage. However, Medicare won’t cover all of someone’s medical needs. Louisiana Medicaid benefits might be necessary if someone needs a room in a nursing home or similarly intensive support services. The choice to engage in Medicaid planning is, therefore, a smart decision for someone preparing for retirement. Why is Medicaid planning so important for those approaching their golden years?
Protecting their interests and/or their legacy
When someone needs to move into a nursing home or requires other support due to health issues, they are in a vulnerable position. Being unable to access those services would be a very unfortunate situation. Those who do not plan ahead for Medicaid might end up facing a sizable penalty when they apply, leaving them ineligible for benefits for multiple months. Any large gifts or transfers in the five years before someone’s application could trigger a Medicaid penalty.
Medicaid planning is also important to protect someone’s resources after they die. The Medicaid estate recovery program in Louisiana might make a claim in probate court that could force the sale of someone’s home after they die. Without advance planning, the assets someone wanted their loved ones to inherit might end up going to the state.
Understanding why Medicaid planning benefits older adults may inspire more people to seek legal guidance so that they can safeguard their interests in this way.