Did you know the average MassHealth waiting period for seniors is six months? And that’s if you have professional help.
Applying for MassHealth on your own? Y
The steady decline of Medicare and Social Security benefits, coupled
With this in mind, it’s not hard to believe that in recent years medical bills were a substantial cause of U.S. bankruptcies, estimating that 2 million people were adversely affected.
In 2017, Debt.org found that people aged 55 and older account for 20 percent of total bankruptcy filings- a number that has doubled since 1994. Since 1991, the rate of American seniors, aged 65 to 74, filing for bankruptcy doubled, while the frequency tripled for those over 75.
Even with assistance from Medicare, the average 65-year-old couple faces nearly $300,000 in medical bills throughout retirement. For five percent of seniors, that amount is at least $570,000. For those over age 80? Their medical bills are easily exceeding 100 percent of their income. Given these staggering numbers, it’s not hard to believe that one out of every seven bankruptcy filers in the United States aged 65 or older.
Securing MassHealth as a senior is an incredibly complicated process that most people endure just once in their lives.
As a Massachusetts senior, eligibility in the MassHealth program may save you money so you can focus on paying for necessary living care and expenses. MassHealth works to deliver medical benefits provided by both Massachusetts and federal law.
With MassHealth benefits, you may receive:
- Inpatient hospital services
- Outpatient hospital services
- Doctors’ visits
- Clinic visits
- Medical services
- Labs and x-rays
- Hearing aids
- Mental health services
- Hospice services
- Personal care attendant services
- Long-term care services
- Chronic disease services
Sounds great, right? While Massachusetts works to cover the care for its elderly citizens, qualifying is not always easy. In order to qualify for MassHealth benefits, seniors (age 65 or older) must meet stringent financial eligibility requirements, with limits on both countable assets and income. For seniors who are married and living together, both incomes and assets count toward eligibility in MassHealth.
In a nutshell, if you apply for MassHealth, whether single or married, you can have only $2,000 in countable assets in your name. If your spouse plans to continue living in the community, your spouse is allowed to keep approximately $119,000 in their name. Applying to MassHealth with more assets than this? Expect to be required to spend down those assets to the applicable limit, usually on healthcare costs.
Less than ideal, these asset limits put seniors who have saved a sizable retirement fund at risk of either being denied MassHealth eligibility or having to spend all of their hard-earned assets on healthcare costs- leaving little to nothing for their loved ones.
By utilizing financial strategies such as putting money in irrevocable trusts, converting countable assets into exempt assets, and utilizing legal spend downs, gifting, annuities, and long-term care insurance, your assets can be arranged in a way that protects them from long-term care costs, thus qualifying you for MassHealth assistance without losing your life’s savings.
In many cases, tens of thousands of dollars are at stake.
Our fees are less, and we get it done faster. Call us at 781-782-6006 or send contact us here to schedule a confidential, no-cost consultation to discuss how we can help you protect your assets and help guide you through the cumbersome and often confusing application process for MassHealth benefits.
If you believe Massachusetts unrightfully