How Does Medicaid Planning Work in Michigan?

As you age, planning for the possibility of needing long-term care is essential. According to a study from the Administration on Aging, people 65 and older have an almost 70% chance of requiring long-term care services in their remaining years. However, as you probably know, nursing homes are expensive.

Many people turn to Medicaid to cover nursing home costs. However, you may not qualify for Medicaid if you have more than $2,000 in assets. That's where Medicaid planning comes in.

Read on to learn how Medicaid planning works in Michigan. Then contact our Medicaid planning attorney at (248) 792-9193 to schedule your free virtual consultation.

What Is Medicaid in Michigan?

Medicaid is a federal- and state-funded healthcare program. This program is available to low-income families and individuals with exceptional financial needs, such as pregnant women and people who are certified blind or disabled. It is also open to individuals 65 and older who meet specific eligibility requirements.

Each state handles Medicaid a little differently. As a result, if you are a Michigan resident, you must meet specific eligibility requirements for the state's Medicaid program.

Many older adults use Medicaid to pay for long-term care expenses, such as:

  • Assisted living facilities
  • Nursing homes
  • In-home healthcare

Unfortunately, Michigan tends to have higher long-term healthcare costs than surrounding states. According to a Cost of Care Survey, staying in an assisted living facility costs an average of $4,500 monthly for Michigan residents. Meanwhile, the average cost of a semi-private nursing home room in Michigan is $7,908 per month.

You can significantly reduce out-of-pocket nursing home costs if eligible for Medicaid. However, you will need to begin considering your Medicaid eligibility at least several years before you need this financial assistance.

Medicaid Eligibility Requirements in Michigan

If you are 65 or older in Michigan, you must meet specific financial requirements to qualify for nursing home Medicaid.

First, you must meet an asset limit. If you are single, this limit is $2,000. If you and a spouse apply for Medicaid, the limit is $3,000.

You must also meet an income limit of $2,523 per month per spouse.

Michigan changes these eligibility requirements frequently to account for inflation and changes in the cost of living. As a result, working with an experienced "Medicaid lawyer near me" is essential to ensure that you understand current eligibility requirements.

What Is Medicaid Planning?

Medicaid planning is the process of preparing for your future Medicaid eligibility. It involves changing your assets and financial situation to improve your eligibility while protecting your wealth.

Many people do not realize they are not eligible for Medicaid until it's too late. When examining your eligibility for Medicaid, the state will review your transactions dating back five years from your application date. As a result, you need to meet the financial requirements at least five years before you plan to use Medicaid.

Meeting with a Medicaid lawyer to begin planning for your eligibility now is essential to ensure your eligibility in at least five years. You never know when your health could take a turn, and you may require long-term care sooner than expected. However, starting Medicaid planning can give you a cushion to improve your eligibility when needed.

Medicaid Planning Strategies to Improve Eligibility

If you do not currently meet the financial requirements for Medicaid, you can take a few steps to improve your eligibility. Your Medicaid planner can examine your current financial situation and suggest ways to allocate funds to other accounts that are Medicaid-exempt.

For example, your Medicaid planner may walk you through any of the following asset planning strategies:

  • Irrevocable funeral trusts: Trusts for the sole purpose of paying for your funeral in advance
  • Spousal asset transfers: Transferring assets to your non-applicant spouse
  • Annuities: Paying a lump sum to an insurance company, which allocates a specific amount to your healthy spouse each month
  • Medicaid asset protection trusts: Trusts that prevent assets from being counted toward your Medicaid asset limit
  • "Half a loaf" strategy: Gifting approximately half of your assets to family members and putting the rest in a Medicaid-compliant annuity.

These strategies can reduce your countable assets, helping you meet Medicaid income eligibility requirements. However, they are also very complicated and require the assistance of a professional Medicaid planner.

Rutkowski Law Firm: Asset Protection & Estate Planning - Protecting Everyone You Love and Everything You Own Through Thoughtful Planning

At Rutkowski Law Firm: Asset Protection & Estate Planning, we're dedicated to protecting everyone you love and everything you own through thoughtful planning. Our Medicaid attorney Kendra Rozboril is the only Certified Medicaid Planner on the east side of Michigan. She can help you develop a strategic Medicaid plan to improve your eligibility for Medicaid when you need it.

Contact us at (248) 792-9193 or fill out our online form to schedule your virtual consultation. Since our services are 100% virtual, we can help anyone who lives in Michigan, whether they are local to our office or not.

Copyright © 2022. Rutkowski Law Firm: Asset Protection & Estate Planning. All rights reserved.

The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

Rutkowski Law Firm: Asset Protection & Estate Planning
40950 Woodward Ave #130
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
(248) 792-9193

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