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Financial considerations for Medicaid planning in Ohio

On Behalf of | Jul 24, 2023 | Estate Planning |

When the stakes are highest, planning proves paramount. If you or a loved one ends up in a particularly vulnerable condition at any point in life, you may realize how crucial it is to have come prepared than be completely defenseless.

The Medicaid program has federal parameters for state administration for those in need of financial assistance. It necessitates potentially qualified individuals’ planning to help them meet the application requirements. Under Ohio law, you qualify for Medicaid coverage if you are a low-income U.S. citizen, who is either pregnant, a child, an elderly or disabled. If you’re a noncitizen, you may qualify as long as you fulfill the state’s requirements.

But much of the complex actual work occurs in establishing financial eligibility. Denial to the Medicaid program is a real possibility, no matter how costly and time-consuming the process becomes. This risk is precisely why you must strategize and discuss the complex legal nuances with a counsel. This way, you can structure your finances and other assets for a chance at favorable results. 

Are you financially eligible?

Ohio’s Medicaid program demands extensive planning because it comes with strict considerations, which may vary depending on which low-income group you’re categorically a part of.

  • Your total monthly income must not exceed $2,742. Earnings beyond this amount require you to create a “qualified income trust,” which makes you qualified despite going over the limit.
  • Your total assets, which may include your retirement accounts and annuities, cannot amount to more than $2,000. If you’re married, your spouse may keep up to a maximum of $148,620.
  • The “look-back period,” which often spans the last five years, reviews all your financial transactions to ensure you didn’t make inappropriate transfers, which may subject you to specific penalties.

These are just some of the general considerations you must anticipate. Depending on your circumstances, certain restrictions and exemptions to Ohio’s rules, as well as tax consequences, may only get even more confusing. Any misstep can only lengthen the process and, worse, keep you from receiving long-term care benefits.

Thus, Medicaid planning involves assessing risks and formulating strategies aimed at the protection of your and your loved ones’ current and future financial stability.

Being proactive now protects you later

Spending your golden years and other volatile days in peace lies in your hands. But the application process is rarely straightforward. Without proper guidance, it could threaten your finances and other assets. It may even take a toll on your physical and mental wellness. With a legal team well-versed in frequently changing Medicaid rules, you may prepare for all possible scenarios.

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