While most people obtain health insurance through an employer, they will lose this coverage once they retire. Thus, as we approach retirement, one of the most important considerations is the availability of long-term healthcare coverage. This coverage is imperative to cover the high costs of medical expenses as we move into the next phase of life and protect familial assets from the skyrocketing costs of long-term care.
Recent surveys suggest that most people want to live at home as long as possible, preferring in-home care to that provided by nursing homes and assisted living facilities. However, this is not the reality for many. In fact, 78% of the state’s long-term care dollars are spent on care facilities rather than in-home caregivers.
Medicare, which is widely available for anyone over 55 years old, Medicare does not provide meaningful coverage for long-term care—either in-home or in a long-term care facility. Thus, this means that most people on Medicare will end up paying out-of-pocket for these expenses. This is where Medicaid planning comes into play.
Medicaid is a federal program that is run on the state level. In Colorado, Medicaid is called Health First Colorado. The program is administered by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing. To qualify for the Colorado Medicaid program, you must meet certain income and asset requirements. These limits vary, depending on your familial situation.
Most notably, the income and asset limitations depend on whether an applicant is married and, if so, whether both spouses are applying for Medicare. While the income and asset limitations vary, generally, an individual cannot have more than $2,000 in assets or make more than $2,382 per month. For couples applying together, the most common asset threshold is $3,000, and couples cannot make more than $4,764 per month.
Eligibility criteria get more complex if only one spouse is applying. For example, a non-applicant spouse’s income is not typically attributed to the applying spouse, and the non-applying spouse can generally keep additional assets, up to a certain limit.
Given the complexity of determining Medicaid eligibility, those who want to be prepared for what lies ahead should reach out to a dedicated Boulder estate planning lawyer for assistance. It is imperative to remember that Colorado’s Medicaid look-back period is five years, meaning you cannot make any ineligible transactions or transfers within that period without incurring an eligibility penalty.
Are You Wondering About Medicaid Planning?
If you are approaching retirement and wonder whether you will qualify for Medicaid, or want help understanding how you can qualify while preserving your family’s assets, give Braverman Law Group a call. At Braverman Law Group, our attorneys command an impressive knowledge of the state’s Medicaid requirements and work with clients from all backgrounds to help them understand their options. We can sit down with you (and your spouse) to develop a comprehensive plan that you can rely on, so your family can rest assured knowing that you and your loved ones are provided for in the coming years. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with a Colorado estate planning lawyer, give Braverman Law Group a call at 303-800-1588 today.