Older adults in Colorado often need quite a bit of medical care as their health evolves. Although most working adults qualify for Medicare, some of them eventually need Medicaid benefits, which are not as straightforward. Health First Colorado is the Colorado state-run Medicaid program. It covers costs that Medicare will not if they are necessary for someone’s health and safety.
For example, Health First Colorado covers long-term care costs. The program will pay for nursing home expenses or even the cost of having skilled nursing support in someone’s home so that they can age in place. However, unlike Medicare, Health First Colorado is a need-based program.
The professionals reviewing someone’s application will look at their income and their assets. As a result, it is important for applicants to understand whether every piece of property in someone’s name counts against their eligibility for Health First Colorado.
Most assets will affect eligibility
The balances of financial accounts and the value of various personal resources will directly determine whether or not someone is eligible for Health First Colorado. If it counted, one of the most valuable assets that people own would likely eliminate most people’s eligibility.
Those who have purchased a home may have hundreds of thousands of dollars in home equity that they do not want to put at risk just to receive health coverage. Thankfully, the state does not look at someone’s home when determining whether or not they will receive benefits. Both sole property owners and those who jointly own property with a spouse or child can potentially obtain Health First Colorado benefits if they need that coverage in their advanced age.
Unfortunately, that leniency ends with the life of the applicant. After someone’s death, the Medicaid recovery program in Colorado may bring a claim against someone’s estate. Not only could the program seek the balance of financial accounts and other resources, but it could also demand the sale or liquidation of someone’s home as a way to repay the full value of the Medicaid benefits that they received during their life.
Many people planning for Medicaid eligibility will take special steps to protect their homes, including the transfer of the property to a trust. They may expand those protected efforts to other resources as well, as the home will not be the only asset at risk of Medicaid recovery efforts during probate proceedings.
Learning more about how Colorado manages Medicaid benefits and recoups the expenses invested in healthcare that may benefit those worried about the future and hoping to preserve their most valuable resources. Seeking legal guidance can be helpful accordingly.