You may want to learn more about a littleknown option called a “pooled trust,”
There is a bitter irony for many retirees in need of medical assistance: the very aid programs
designed to help them – Medicare and Medicaid – fall short when they may be needed most. Many
people are surprised to learn that Medicare does not pay for long-term home nursing care. Medicaid,
the state and federal program that will pay for some of these services, has strict financial eligibility
requirements. If you or a loved one is caught in this situation, you may want to learn more about a littleknown option called a “pooled trust,” discussed in the New York Times.
Joining a pooled trust may be an option for some people in certain states to receive home care
through Medicaid, without having to impoverish themselves in order to qualify. Here’s how it works: a
federal law established in 1993 allows disabled people to put their monthly income or assets — above
the amounts Medicaid allows them to keep — into the trust. They can then use the money in the trust
to pay for their basic monthly bills like rent, a mortgage payment or cable television. Medicaid,
meanwhile, pays for the home care.
Unfortunately, the option of a pooled trust is not always easy, nor universally available. The
pooled trusts are available only in about a dozen states for people over the age of 65. And since the rules governing Medicaid are intricate and differ in each state, the trusts work more effectively in some states than in others.
You can find out more about how pooled trusts work by reading the New York Times article. And, as always, consult competent legal counsel before investing in a pooled trust or any other Medicaid planning strategy.Tags: financial eligibility, Medical Assistance, Medicare, pooled trust, seniors, special needs