If you work, money is taken out of your paycheck in order to contribute to Medicare, the federal health insurance program. Thus, when you turn 65, you are eligible for Medicare to pay for the cost of your healthcare (there are other circumstances where you would be eligible for Medicare as well). However, Medicare doesn’t guarantee that all your health care costs will be covered. Elder law attorney Linda Redlisky explains what each of the different parts of Medicare covers and more importantly, what Medicare does not cover.
Medicare pays for hospitalization, but it does not pay for anything that is non-skilled in nature such as custodial care. This is where Medicaid comes in to help pay for the cost of your care. Medicaid is not only for very poor people. You can arrange your finances so that you will be eligible for Medicaid. One way to qualify for Medicaid is to divest your assets either through an irrevocable trust or a gift to amplify your quality of care.
Linda’s focus with Medicaid planning is not about inheritance, but about qualifying people for Medicaid at the right time to avoid a crisis situation later in life. Panic can be avoided with careful Medicaid planning which will in turn give you the flexibility to age in a manner that is respectful of your wishes like having aides in an assisted living home instead of living in a nursing home.
“Communication and exploration are the takeaways,” says Linda. Tune into Risa and Linda’s conversation to start learning about your options and thinking about what a good plan looks like for you because it is different for everyone.
What’s In This Episode
0:25 About Linda
1:38 What is Medicare?
3:21 Best source of information
4:05 Misunderstanding about Medicare
5:03 Supplemental plans
7:00 Limitations of Medicare
9:45 Discharge plan
11:05 Looking at insurance plans early
12:10 Stigma with Medicare
14:35 Medicaid qualification
15:40 Setting money aside for additional care
16:55 Medicaid planning
17:24 Medicaid planning in advance
18:11 Divesting assets
19:07 Five year look back period
22:48 Assets and Medicaid qualification
23:57 Spousal refusal
28:29 Institutional Medicaid versus community Medicaid
30:38 What happens to the irrevocable trust after a person passes away
32: 26 What happens to the pool trust after a person passes away
Linda is a partner at Rafferty & Redlisky LLP concentrating in health care law, guardianships, Medicaid recoveries, and commercial litigation. Previously, Linda was senior associate at the law firm of Wolf Haldenstein Adler. At the firm, she oversaw the firm’s representation of nursing homes and handled issues related to health care organizations like Medicaid and Medicare. She is also experienced in handling issues related to compliance matters, drafting and reviewing contracts, debt recovery, and general civil and commercial litigation at the state or federal level.