Eric Kallio, founding attorney of Kallio Law Firm, LLC, in Prairieville, Louisiana, is dedicated to providing specialized legal services in several areas, including estate planning. In all his areas of specialization, his primary focus is on helping his clients solve problems efficiently and effectively. Having done so for years, he has become a trusted advisor throughout the state. Among the various issues he addresses, Medicaid planning stands out since it is vital to ensuring the security every individual and family needs.

What Is Medicaid?

Many people confuse Medicare and Medicaid. While Medicare is a federal health insurance program for U.S. adults ages 65 and older that is not means-tested, Medicaid is jointly funded by state and federal governments and is designed to provide health coverage to individuals and families who have low incomes.

Nonetheless, Medicaid is important to the vast majority of Americans since it helps cover the exorbitant costs of the long-term nursing care that 70 percent of us will require during our lifetimes. This is why the services of a caring, capable lawyer like Eric Kallio can prove invaluable. He has the in-depth knowledge and refined legal skills to assist you in Medicaid planning to ensure that you will qualify for Medicaid benefits without sacrificing your financial resources.

Why Is It Necessary To Plan for Medicaid

Preparing for Medicaid is vital due to three significant factors: [1] Long-term care is very expensive [2] Medicaid eligibility depends on having a very low income and few assets, and [3] Medicaid has a look-back period of 5 years. Therefore, without Medicaid planning, those with average or high assets stand to exhaust their estates rapidly if a member of the family requires long-term care. Proactive Medicaid planning can preserve your legacy while ensuring eligibility for necessary healthcare services. 

How Best To Prepare for Medicaid in Louisiana

Fortunately, the law permits a number of ways to take advantage of Medicaid benefits even if you have sizable assets:

Common Asset Conversion Strategies

Medicaid requires a “spenddown” of countable assets in order for an individual to be eligible for benefits. It does not, however, insist that such assets be used to pay nursing home costs. For this reason, it is possible to use conversion strategies to make “countable assets “uncountable” by Medicaid standards.

Conversion strategies include:

  • Buying a new home
  • Renovating your existing home
  • Upgrading your vehicle
  • Prepaying funeral/burial/cremation expenses
  • Signing personal services contracts 
  • Caring for a disabled family member

Of course, such strategies must be used carefully to meet Medicaid requirements and should only be undertaken in consultation with your attorney to make certain they are wise and comply with Medicaid regulations. Not all conversion strategies work equally well. For example, purchasing a new home is likely to be a good investment, but purchasing an expensive vehicle may not since its value is may decrease rapidly.

Medicaid Asset Protection Trust

A Medicaid Asset Protection Trust (MAPT) is a vital tool in Medicaid planning. This irrevocable trust allows individuals to transfer their assets into the trust, thus removing them from their estate for Medicaid eligibility purposes. The assets in the trust are shielded from being counted for Medicaid qualification, yet they can still provide some benefits to the trust’s beneficiaries. Eric Kallio can help establish a MAPT that complies with Louisiana state laws, ensuring that assets are protected while maintaining Medicaid eligibility.

Pooled Income Trusts

For individuals receiving income that exceeds Medicaid’s limits, a Pooled Income Trust can be an excellent solution. This trust allows participants to deposit their excess income into the trust, which is then used to pay for their care expenses, thus maintaining their Medicaid eligibility. The trust is managed by a nonprofit organization, and upon the death of the beneficiary, any remaining funds typically revert to the state or the managing nonprofit. Pooled Income Trusts are particularly effective in managing income while still receiving Medicaid benefits in Louisiana.

Medicaid-Compliant Annuities and Promissory Notes

Investing in a Medicaid-compliant annuity or creating a promissory note can also be strategic in Medicaid planning. A Medicaid-compliant annuity converts assets into income, ensuring the investor does not exceed Medicaid’s asset limits. Similarly, a promissory note can be used to loan money to a trusted individual with a structured repayment plan that does not affect Medicaid eligibility. Both strategies require precise structuring to comply with Medicaid rules, and Eric Kallio’s expertise can ensure these financial instruments are used effectively.

Don’t Take the Risk: Contact Kallio Law Firm Today

Failing to prepare for Medicaid can, and frequently does, lead to severe financial and emotional distress. Though most of us don’t foresee needing long-term nursing care, the reality is that most of us will require nursing care. Don’t leave yourself or a loved one in a position that compromises healthcare options or financial stability. Now is the time to contact Kallio Law Firm, LLC to address the issue of Medicaid planning. Eric Kallio has the talent and the tools to safeguard your assets, protect your loved ones, and secure your future.