Once an individual becomes eligible for Medicaid, the planning isn’t over. Every 12 months a Medicaid recipient must reapply for Medicaid. This process is known as redetermination and requires providing proof of current income and verification that countable assets do not exceed $2,000.
For married couples, the post-Medicaid approval planning is even more imperative than for single persons. If the community spouse unexpectedly dies and proper planning has not been implemented, the nursing home spouse is at risk of becoming ineligible for Medicaid. This is because the nursing home spouse becomes the sole owner of the assets that the community spouse was allowed to keep when applying for Medicaid.
There are several post-Medicaid approval planning steps that should be considered:
1. Creating a trust for the community spouse.
2. Changing life insurance and IRA beneficiaries.
3. Drafting a life estate deed for the home.
4. Naming children as T.O.D. beneficiaries of the bank and investment accounts owned by the community spouse.
5. Removing the Medicaid recipients name from bank accounts.
Every situation is unique and the post-Medicaid approval planning must be tailored to fit the person’s specific situation.