Serious accidents may occur at any time, and they may also result in a devastating physical disability. Regardless of his or her age, an unexpectedly disabled individual may require Medicaid to provide for health care and assisted living expenses.
As noted by New York State’s Department of Health, individuals with low income may qualify for Medicaid even after placing their assets into a trust. Income diverted or placed into a special needs or pooled trust, for example, may not count toward income when determining eligibility for Medicaid.
A special needs trust may help secure Medicaid eligibility
As described by WealthManagement.com, disabled individuals under 65 may create a standalone or pooled special needs trust and still qualify for Medicaid. With a pooled trust, a nonprofit organization manages the assets on behalf of the disabled beneficiary.
Upon death, the individual’s remaining assets in a pooled trust transfer to the nonprofit for the benefit of other disabled members in the pool. A standalone special needs trust, however, reimburses Medicaid after the beneficiary’s death for the medical assistance he or she received.
An irrevocable Medicaid trust may protect family assets
An irrevocable Medicaid trust may allow families to safeguard their assets and savings when one family member requires long-term care. As noted by SmartAsset, a Medicaid trust may preserve a couple’s primary residence and retirement plans such as a 401(k). Individuals may also transfer vehicles, jewelry and other valuable belongings into the trust without affecting their eligibility for Medicaid benefits.
When families wish to prepare for the possibility of a loved one requiring assisted living services, they may consider different trusts for protecting their assets. Medicaid may provide workable options to cover health care by enabling disabled individuals to receive benefits even when their income and property have moved to a trust.