Planning Options to Protect Your Home and Savings from Medicaid Estate Recovery in Minnesota and Florida

Medicaid provides a vital safety net to help cover long-term care costs for seniors. However, after you pass away, Medicaid will seek to recover for benefits paid on your behalf by placing a claim or lien against your estate, including your home.

In this article, I’ll explain how Medicaid estate recovery works. More importantly, I’ll share strategies that can help shelter your home and savings from liens and forced sale to repay Medicaid. With proper planning, you may be able to protect your home and retirement nest egg.

Odds Are, You and Your Spouse Will Need Care

According to government statistics, approximately 72% of people over age 65 will need some form of long-term care. Care includes home health aides, assisted living and even skilled nursing home care. The average length of care for a man is 2.2 years and the average length of care for a woman is 3.7 years.

Long-Term Care Costs are Skyrocketing. In 2021, the national average cost of a nursing home was over $100,000 a year. In Minnesota, it was over $140,000 a year. On the gulf coast of Florida, the average annual costs were over $120,000 a year. And costs are rising faster than inflation.

Government Benefits for the Middle Class

With costs potentially exceeding over $1 million for the average married couple, government benefits are now the #1 way middle class families are covering these costs. Specifically, a government program known as Medicaid, or also sometimes referred to as Medical Assistance.

Understanding Medicaid Estate Recovery in Minnesota and Florida

To qualify for long-term care Medicaid in Minnesota, your assets must be below $3,000. In Florida, they must be below $2,000. If you are married, your spouse must also spend down prior to qualifying to receive benefits. Medicaid will then help pay for care in a facility or at home.

However, after your passing, federal law says the state must seek recovery of Medicaid benefits paid from your estate. This means any property you owned at death, including your home, may be subject to liens and even forced sale to repay Medicaid.

The state has the right to recover Medicaid costs before any other heirs inherit or creditors are paid. Medicaid recovery comes first after you pass away.

Take Steps Now to Protect Your Family Later

To reduce assets potentially subject to future Medicaid estate recovery, planning strategies can be implemented now to shield resources. One option to consider:

Family Asset Protection Trust – Assets can be transferred into a Family Asset Protection Trust. This a specific type of trust that is set up under federal and state law. When done correctly, it can protect the assets you put into it, such as your home and savings, from long-term care and nursing home costs.

Get Personalized Planning Guidance for Your Situation

The intricacies of Medicaid eligibility, recovery programs, and allowable asset protection strategies can be challenging to navigate. Proper planning is essential to shelter your home and savings.

At Roulet Law Firm, P.A. we have extensive experience assisting Minnesota and Florida families protect their assets from long-term care costs through customized Medicaid and estate planning.

To explore options for sheltering your home and savings from Medicaid estate recovery, contact our Minnetonka, MN office at (763) 420-5087 or our Venice, FL office at (941) 909-4644 or fill out the contact form on this page and one of our team members will contact you.

Save Our Home GuideIf you are not yet ready to put a plan in place to protect your retirement nest egg, and need additional information before you schedule your meeting with us to start your plan, Click Here to download our FREE consumer guide "Save Our Home: How To Protect Your Home and Life Savings From Long-Term Care and Nursing Home Costs" which provides additional information. Don't leave it to chance and risk sacrificing your life's work.

Chuck Roulet
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Nationally Recognized Estate Planning Attorney, Author, and Speaker