Qualifying for Medicaid in New Jersey can feel like a daunting task. As experienced New Jersey Medicaid attorneys, we are dedicated to helping clients understand the ins and outs of this essential program.
One key factor in determining Medicaid eligibility in New Jersey is what are known as “assets and resources.” Because certain Medicaid programs impose a value limit for the amount of assets you have, it is crucial that you are aware of this topic.
This article will clarify what is considered an asset or resource for New Jersey Medicaid and how an experienced attorney can help you assess your assets and resources when applying for Medicaid.
What is Medicaid?
Medicaid is a state and federally funded health insurance program designed to provide healthcare coverage for low-income individuals, families, and seniors. Each state has its own set of rules and regulations, so it’s essential to understand the specifics of New Jersey’s Medicaid programs when determining eligibility.
In New Jersey, there are a number of Medicaid programs. This includes Affordable Care Act Medicaid, NJ WorkAbility, NJ Care for the Aged, Blind and Disabled, and Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS). NJ WorkAbility is unique in that it does not impose an asset limit. However, the other Medicaid programs are subject to their own distinct asset limits.
Defining Assets and Resources
When discussing Medicaid, the terms “assets” and “resources” are frequently used interchangeably. Technically, these terms refer to different things. Assets are items of value that can be converted into cash, whereas resources are financial products that can be directly accessed. Nonetheless, assets and resources both factor into the Medicaid eligibility equation, so for the purpose of this article, we will refer to them both as “assets.”
Countable & Exempt Assets
That said, not all assets are counted when assessing Medicaid eligibility. Thus, it is crucial to know which assets are considered “countable” and which are not.
Countable assets include, but are not limited to, checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), stocks and bonds, mutual funds, certain retirement accounts, cash value of certain life insurance policies, real property (besides your primary residence), certain personal property, and certain trusts.
On the other hand, exempt assets may include your primary residence (up to a certain value), one vehicle (up to a certain value), your wedding ring, prepaid funeral arrangements, certain personal belongings, certain life insurance policies, certain income-producing properties, and certain trusts.
An Attorney Can Provide Invaluable Advice
If you are applying for New Jersey MLTSS, we highly suggest working with an attorney. MLTSS applications are notoriously complicated, so having an expert’s guidance can help assure that you get the affordable long-term care that you need.
First, an attorney can review your financial situation to determine your eligibility. Your attorney will identify potential planning strategies to protect assets and minimize your spend-down. Additionally, your attorney can provide guidance on the use of trusts and other legal tools to preserve assets while maintaining Medicaid eligibility. Importantly, your attorney can make sure any transfers comply with Medicaid’s look-back period and are not subject to any unnecessary penalties.
More generally, an attorney can walk you through the MLTSS application process, ensuring all documentation is accurate and complete. And, in the event of a Medicaid denial, your attorney can represent you in an appeal.
Understanding the asset and resource requirements for Medicaid eligibility in New Jersey is crucial for those seeking assistance through this vital healthcare program. Consulting with a knowledgeable New Jersey elder law attorney can help ensure that your assets are accurately assessed and that you can access the benefits you need. The Chamberlain Law Firm is here to help you throughout the Medicaid MLTSS process. Give us a call today at (201) 273-9763 to get started. For more Medicaid advice, be sure to check out our Insight Articles.