Many people in New Jersey who are in their elder years want to give their loved ones substantial gifts. This way, they can see their loved one enjoy what would be their inheritance. However, these people may also be planning on utilizing Medicaid benefits to pay for long-term care once they can no longer care for themselves. It is important, then, to understand how gift-giving can affect Medicaid eligibility, so that you can plan accordingly.
While some people in New Jersey may be fortunate enough to make plans for long-term care while they are still in good health, many find themselves needing long-term care options only after a crisis occurs. For example, a person could unexpectedly suffer a stroke, or they could fall and break a hip, necessitating either in-home health care or care in a nursing home. People in such situations may be afraid that they will lose all the hard-earned assets they accumulated over a lifetime to pay for such care.
Many people in New Jersey rely on Medicaid benefits to pay for their care needs as they age. However, what they may not know is that upon their death, Uncle Sam may come knocking, seeking recovery from the deceased's estate of what was paid for using Medicaid benefits.
Many aged individuals in New Jersey plan on utilizing Medicaid benefits to pay for their long-term care needs. However, it is important to understand how Medicaid has changed over the years. Eligibility hinges on a person's income level, but with Medicaid expansion, more people have been able to apply for and receive benefits.
While some people in New Jersey may have long-term care insurance or a significant amount of savings to pay for nursing home care, many people plan on using Medicaid benefits. A person may qualify for Medicaid benefits if their monthly income does not exceed a certain amount that is set by the federal government (although some states have even lower limits).
To be eligible for Medicaid benefits in New Jersey (referred to as Long Term Services and Supports), a person's income and resources cannot exceed a certain dollar amount annually. However, does this mean that a person must be impoverished before they can begin receiving LTSS? Not necessarily.
While sometimes people in New Jersey make plans for a potential stay in a nursing home well before they need such care, many times a person's admission to a long-term care facility occurs due to a sudden illness or disability. When this happens, the person's family may fear that all their loved one's assets will be handed over to the facility to pay for their care.
Under federal and New Jersey law, once a Medicaid beneficiary dies, the government recovers funds from the deceased's estate for any services the deceased received after age 55 that were paid for using Medicaid benefits. This is known as "estate recovery."
A person in New Jersey in need of nursing home care, they may be relying on Medicaid to help finance the care they need. However, it is the unfortunate fact that sometimes a person's initial application for Medicaid is denied, even if they have spent the time to try to develop a strong Medicaid planning strategy. This can be incredibly discouraging, but it does not have to be the end of the story. This is because it is possible to appeal a denied claim for Medicaid benefits.
Not everyone in New Jersey has, or can afford, long-term care insurance, which can be used for paying for nursing home care. Nevertheless, people should have a plan for how they will afford a stay in a nursing home, should they need it in their old age. This is when Medicaid planning becomes important.