As the cost of nursing home increases, many Salem residents may find themselves worrying about how they will cover the cost of long-term care. As they turn towards Medicaid, it is important to keep in mind that it is a means-tested program that depends on one’s incomes and assets. Medicaid prefers that an applicant spend their own resources to fund Medicaid planning, which means depleting one’s finances and not leaving anything for loved ones. One way to shield assets is to reduce one’s assets without affecting one’s Medicaid eligibility. Spending down can be an important tool for Medicaid planning. This refers to getting rid of one’s assets legally without incurring a penalty within the Medicaid’s lookback period.

If the applicant is not in need of a nursing home currently, he or she should consider legally paying one’s family members for services. This could be paying a family member for helping with personal maintenance, financial matters, or paying rent to a family member who’s house one lives in. purchases made should be for the applicant’s own benefit and can be demonstrated as such. It is also possible to pay for private aides and healthcare attendants on top of that paid by Community Medicaid.

Those who are going into a nursing home should consider prepaying for their funeral by creating an irrevocable funeral trust. This purchase is considered acceptable and does not affect Medicaid eligibility. Items of basic needs should be purchased, as they will be needed in a nursing home. Lastly, it is also a good idea to pay back one’s enforceable debts to creditors or family members.

Every expense or cost paid should be documented properly and copies of all documentation should be kept to show how money was spent and when. This can considerably help one with their Medicaid eligibility.