Senior Public Benefits Planning in Texas

As healthcare improves over time, the median age of adults in the U.S. also rises. While this is certainly a net positive for adults and their families, it also means that individuals have more planning to do regarding their elder years. Today, our blog reviews some important topics regarding senior public benefits planning in Texas that you might want to think through as you and your loved ones prepare for the future. As always, there is more to discuss than included in this post, and we recommend you reach out to a trusted estate planning attorney to learn more.

Medicaid Eligibility

Medicaid is a state-provided benefit that provides healthcare for individuals with limited resources. If you qualify for Medicaid, the State calculates a co-pay for you, which you then pay through Social Security or other sources of income. Then, when you go to a doctor’s office, the government pays the difference between your co-pay and the rate that the medical facility charges.

There are two main criteria you must meet to qualify for Medicaid: you must be both medically eligible and financially eligible. To be medically eligible, a doctor must sign off, confirming that you need a certain level of care. To be financially eligible, your assets and income cannot be higher than the government’s designated limit.

MERP and How to Avoid It

In Texas, there is a program called MERP (Medicaid Estate Recovery Program) – if you receive Medicaid during your lifetime, this program unfortunately allows the State to sue your estate once you pass for any benefits that it might be able to recover from you. Thankfully, there are tools you can employ that allow you to maintain your eligibility for Medicaid and still protect your assets from the State once you pass. The Ladybird Deed, the Miller Trust, and the Asset Protection Trust are all possible tools that you can ask your estate planning attorney to investigate on your behalf.

Unfortunately, there are many factors that we cannot control as we age. Doing everything possible to set ourselves up for financial success, however, is something we can control in the present moment. If you have questions about how best to plan for the senior public benefits you might pursue, speak with a qualified, experienced estate planning attorney today. Each person is different, and by scheduling a consultation, you can make sure your estate planning attorney is able to craft a strategy that works for your particularized needs and goals.

Do You Have a Houston Estate Planning Attorney for Your Financial Needs?

If you have not yet retained a Houston estate planning attorney to help you sort through your assets, give our firm a call at McCulloch & Miller. We work with clients at all phases of life, and our specialty is making sure that Texans seeking estate planning services have the best long-term plan for their finances, healthcare, and overall wellbeing. For a consultation with a member of our team, give us a call us today at 713-936-9073. You can also fill out our online form to have an attorney reach back out to you as soon as possible regarding your estate planning journey.


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