MassHealth is Massachusetts’ Medicaid offering, designed to help low-income residents get the medical care that they need. At some point in your life, you might find that you or a loved one needs the care of a full-time nursing facility. This can be a lengthy and arduous process, given the amount of forms and information that you’ll need to provide to determine eligibility.
Below is an introduction to the MassHealth application process. If you need assistance with your application, don’t hesitate to contact Baker Law Group, P.C. for consultation. We have considerable experience with MassHealth eligibility and applications. Schedule a Consultation
Information You Will Need
To apply for MassHealth, you can expect to disclose your personal details such as name, address and family size. You will also need to list the members of your household, their financial assets, your financial assets and your bank account information. This information is to ensure that you meet the income eligibility threshold.
Income and Asset Eligibility
If your individual assets are above $2,000 you may be considered ineligible for MassHealth. If both you and your spouse need long-term nursing care, you may be ineligible with over $3,000 in assets.
“Countable” assets include:
- savings accounts
- bank accounts
- second or other homes
- retirement accounts
Your home is not a countable asset (at least up to $893,000), but MassHealth may be able to recover proceeds from a probate sale.
The 2019 monthly income limits for eligibility are $1,041 per month if one person is applying for MassHealth, and $1,409 if both spouses are applying.
Assets for the Community Spouse
If your spouse needs nursing home care and you do not, you are considered the “community spouse” and will need assets in order to live in the community. As of January 1, 2020 MassHealth eligibility allows you to keep up to $128,640 in countable assets, and one hundred percent of your marital assets, up to $25,728.
If you believe you or your spouse are ineligible for Medicaid or you have been told you are not eligible by a non-legal professional, it is important to learn your options as soon as possible from an experience elder attorney. As soon as someone is admitted or discharged to a rehabilitation facility or nursing home, a plan should be developed when possible to spend down assets in order to meet the MassHealth eligibility requirements.
Spending Down Assets
Planning for Medicaid as early as possible can help protect your assets. MassHealth eligibility prevents you from giving away your assets as gifts for five years before your application. There are ways to spend down appropriately without jeopardizing MassHealth eligibility.
Ultimately, your best option is to consult an elder care and estate-planning attorney before you apply to Medicaid in Massachusetts. An experienced lawyer will be able to take a comprehensive look at your assets, family situation and personal income and help you formulate a plan. As you and your spouse age, you’re more likely to need nursing home care. By planning before you need care, you can improve your financial situation and provide peace of mind.
How to Apply for MassHealth Nursing Home Care
While you can apply for MassHealth yourself using the information below or rely on the assistance from the nursing home to complete your application, you may unknowingly make a costly mistake. At Baker Law Group, we know the MassHealth regulations and applications. Our Elder Law attorneys can discuss all the options for paying for nursing home care and assist you throughout the process.
Applying for nursing home Medicaid in Massachusetts is accessible through their online platform as well as calling (800) 841-2900 for the self-help service center. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and is staffed with people from 8:45am-5pm, Monday through Friday.
MassHealth also has several in-person service centers that can assist you, or you can download, print and fill out the forms. Mailing the forms can be the slowest option.
Contact Baker Law Group, P.C. with your questions about how to plan for MassHealth, either for you or your aging loved ones. We offer a free initial consultation and years of experience navigating the MassHealth long term care application process.
Toll free 800-701-0352