People often don’t stop to think about whether they could qualify for Medicaid or not until they realize that they will soon need benefits. For older adults, who make up one of the primary populations served by Medicaid, a lifetime of savings might make it harder to qualify for benefits. 

Planning ahead of time will not only protect your assets from claims by Medicaid and other creditors when you die but will make it easier for you to get benefits quickly when you need them. There are two very compelling reasons to consider Medicaid planning for yourself or aging loved ones that at first seem to contradict each other.

Does your family have a history of severe medical issues? 

The first reason that someone might need to plan ahead to qualify for Medicaid involves a situation where someone has a history of serious medical problems as they age. 

Especially with conditions like Alzheimer’s, which can impact someone’s right to make legal decisions on their own behalf, planning well ahead of time when there is an increased risk for debilitating medical issues can be very important for your family.

Does your family have a history of healthy and long-lived older adults? 

Even if there’s no reason to suspect that debilitating medical conditions will affect you or your loved one, you may have to worry about what good help might mean for someone’s financial stability and living situation. 

The longer people live, the more years they might have to spend in a nursing home or similar facility. They will probably need Medicaid benefits to cover the cost of living in a nursing home, possibly for more than a decade. Just like those with a family history of serious illness, those with a family history of longevity will also run the risk of needing Medicaid benefits as they age.