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Medicaid Planning Attorney in Union City, New Jersey

As people age and their medical needs grow more complex, they may consider applying for Medicaid. The coverage provided by Medicaid can make a huge difference—not only for your overall health but also for your finances. Medicaid can save you money in the long run. However, determining your Medicaid eligibility can be more difficult than you think. Because of this, many individuals choose to work with an estate planning attorney and healthcare planning lawyer. 

By reaching out to our team at the Hudson Law Firm, we can help you with Medicaid pre-planning and long-term care planning to ensure your needs are being met. If you live in the Union City, New Jersey area, including Jersey City, Bayonne, Hoboken, and North Bergen, reach out to us today.  

What is Medicaid?  

Medicaid is a federally-funded health insurance program that’s administered at the state level meant to provide free or heavily-subsidized healthcare and long-term care services for low income individuals. Each state will implement the program in slightly different ways and have different income levels for qualification. 

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Who is Eligible?  

To be eligible for Medicaid in New Jersey, your income must be under a certain percentage of the federal poverty level (FPL) and you must either be part of a family with dependent children, over the age of 65, permanently disabled, blind, or a pregnant woman. To calculate your eligibility by income, the state uses your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) and compares this with the current FPL. For most adults aged 18 to 64, you can’t have an income higher than 138% of the FPL. Your MAGI is your adjusted gross income (your income and assets) minus any eligible deductions which could include Social Security benefits, foreign income, or any other income that’s not subject to federal income tax.  

If you don’t qualify under these provisions, you may still be able to get Medicaid coverage through a Medically Needy Pathway (also called a Medically Needy Program of the Special Medicaid Program). This option is available for seniors who have incomes above the pre-set limits, but still need coverage. Essentially, this program requires applicants to spend down their excess income on extra healthcare costs such as medical bills or insurance premiums, then deduct these expenses from their AGI to qualify for Medicaid coverage. 

What is Medicaid Pre-Planning?  

Many seniors take part in Medicaid pre-planning by working alongside an attorney or accountant to prepare their finances for applying for—and qualifying for—Medicaid coverage. This type of healthcare planning is 100% legal and could mean the difference between securing this essential service or paying out-of-pocket for long-term care. Along with your attorney, you’ll collect and organize the needed documentation and if necessary, convert portions of your income into non-countable assets or trusts that can lower your MAGI. 

Look-Back Period  

In nearly every state, there is a Medicaid look-back period of five years (60 months). This process is intended to stop seniors from gifting or selling assets in an effort to artificially reduce their income. When you apply for Nursing Home Medicaid or Home and Community Based Services, the previous 60 months of your financial history will be reviewed to check for this. 

Reasons to Take Advantage of Medicaid Pre-Planning  

Taking the time to plan for your Medicaid application can help you and your family gain peace of mind knowing that your healthcare needs will be met. Many people are shocked at how much long-term care costs, and even those who have saved for retirement may not be able to afford this. You may also be concerned about how you’ll continue to meet your expenses if you have a healthy spouse who lives at home and doesn’t require the same level of care as you. For all these reasons, it’s best to start planning early before you become saddled with healthcare expenses. 

Medicaid Planning Attorney Serving Union City, New Jersey

If you’re in the Union City area and are considering pre-planning for Medicaid, contact our team at Hudson Law Firm for trusted legal guidance. We can review your situation while keeping your best interests in mind.