What is Medicaid?
Many people think Medicaid and Medicare are the same things. However, these two programs are different, though there are similarities between them. While Medicare is a federal program, Medicaid programs are administered on a state level.
Medicaid provides free or low-cost health coverage to millions of people across the United States. The laws that govern Medicaid, including eligibility requirements, vary from one state to another. Another key difference between Medicaid and Medicare is that the latter is based largely on the individual’s disability and age, while Medicaid is typically based on the person’s income and assets.
Who Qualifies for Medicaid in Texas?
Eligibility requirements for Medicaid depend on state law. Thus, determining whether or not you qualify for Medicaid depends on where you live. In Texas, people can qualify for Medicaid based on (a) income and assets and (b) medical needs.
- The income-based pathway. Many people apply for Medicaid benefits because they meet income requirements imposed by state law. The income threshold depends on the number of people in your household.
- Medically needy pathway. Eligibility for Medicaid is also based on your medical need. Thus, if your income exceeds the state’s income requirements, you might still be able to apply for Medicaid benefits if you can prove that you spend down your excess income by paying high medical expenses.
If you need help understanding whether or not you qualify for Medicaid in Texas, reach out to an experienced attorney who can assess your specific situation and determine if your case meets the eligibility requirements.
What Is Medicaid Asset Protection?
Many people assume that they will never need nursing home care, which is why many are caught off guard when they end up having no funds or assets to pay for their nursing home. In fact, many Texans expect that the government will cover the cost of nursing home care.
People who understand the high cost of nursing home care create Medicaid asset protection trusts to protect their assets in the long run. With a proper strategy and careful planning, a Medicaid trust can enable someone who is not eligible for Medicaid to become eligible in order to receive the care they need. Contact a skilled Medicaid trusts attorney to explore the different strategies for protecting your assets and ensuring that you are properly cared for.
Look-Back Period in Medicaid
When a person is applying for Medicaid benefits, the Texas Health and Human Services, which oversees Medicaid applications, will determine whether or not the applicant’s assets meet the eligibility requirements. Under Texas law, your income and assets cannot exceed a certain limit to be eligible for Medicaid benefits.
For these purposes, Texas also uses the look-back period, which prevents Medicaid applicants from selling or giving away their assets in an attempt to meet eligibility requirements. The Texas HHS will review all transactions and asset transfers during the look-back period.