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Medicaid trusts and other long-term care planning strategies

People in Pennsylvania who are evaluating their estate plans should give careful thought to how they might choose to fund any long-term care needs they may experience in the future. If no long-term care insurance policy has been maintained and there is not enough value in a person's estate to ensure proper care for as long as a person may need, Medicaid may be the next option. However, there are some limits to when Medicaid will cover the cost of this type of care.

As explained by NextAvenue, too many people find themselves stuck in a precarious position where they do not have enough savings to pay for necessary care but the value of their assets or their income level is too high to qualify for Medicaid. It is difficult to know if or when such a situation may arise so proactive planning is important.

When assessing a person's ability to pay for long-term care services, Medicaid will consider both assets and income not just at the current moment but for a period of three to five years leading up to the moment when assistance is requested. This is called the look-back period.

There are some types of trusts that may offer people the ability to transfer assets early enough so as to avoid the look-back period and reduce their overall asset worth. A Medicaid trust is one of these. Aging Care adds that qualified income trusts and pooled income trusts may also be options for people. All of these trusts, however, are irrevocable.

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