As you get older, your health and healthcare needs can change dramatically. Where you once used an employer-provided insurance plan to cover medical expenses, you may now be looking at other options.
Depending on your situation, there could be a significant difference between your current assets and the eligibility requirements for programs like MassHealth. You may need a spend-down strategy before you can qualify for MassHealth benefits.
Here’s what you should know about creating a spend-down strategy and when you might need one.
Planning early can help
Ideally, your spend-down strategy should start early. In some cases, it can take a considerable amount of time to spend or redistribute your assets to be able to qualify for MassHealth or other similar government benefit programs.
However, you may still be able to adjust your assets if you did not start as early as you hoped. You should get support from a trained legal and financial professional to create a spend-down strategy that will work within your circumstances. Keep in mind that you may need more help if you have a shorter timeframe.
Knowing what you can (and cannot) have
The challenging part about creating a spend-down plan is knowing what counts toward the asset limits. There are a few different options for MassHealth plans, so you should know what you need and what the rules are for the program that makes the most sense for your situation.
In some cases, you can transfer your assets to a loved one like a spouse, but for other programs within MassHealth, you may face limitations.
MassHealth will look both at your current assets when you apply and how you spent your assets before your application, so it is critical to seek professional support when you are creating a spend-down strategy.