When to Consider a MassHealth Qualified Income Trust

The answer may well be now. Life is unpredictable. That’s why working with an experienced, skilled estate planning attorney is so important. If you live in Southeastern Massachusetts, becoming a client of the legal team of Surprenant & Beneski, P.C. is a thoughtful way to manage the future. Our accomplished lawyers can help you mitigate the impact of unexpected events on your finances and your family. We understand that your situation has unique elements and are well-prepared to customize an estate plan especially to meet your needs. For many of our clients, such an estate plan includes a MassHealth Qualified Income Trust.

What MassHealth Is and Why Most State Residents Rely on It

Seventy percent of 65-year olds will require long-term care during their lifetimes, and only a minute percentage of the population can afford such care without assistance. According to AARP, in-patient long-term nursing care costs well over $100,000 annually. That’s why realistic estate planning for the future requires preparing to be eligible for MassHealth (Medicaid) benefits. Without proper estate planning, individuals risk either being ineligible for MassHealth benefits or depleting a significant portion of their estate to qualify for government funds.

Note: Many people confuse Medicaid and Medicare, but they are distinct programs. While Medicare is extremely helpful in providing substantial healthcare coverage for individuals over the age of 65 and is not means-tested (based on income and assets) the way MassHealth is, Medicare does not cover long-term care. 

What Is a MassHealth Qualified Income Trust?

A MassHealth Qualified Income Trust (QIT), also known as a Medicaid Income Trust, is a legal tool designed to help individuals meet MassHealth’s income requirements while protecting their assets. This trust allows individuals with income exceeding MassHealth’s limits to become eligible for benefits by diverting excess income into the trust. Because the trust then takes ownership of the funds, MassHealth does not include them when it evaluates “countable assets.”

Purposes of a MassHealth Qualified Income Trust

A MassHealth Qualified Income Trust can be a valuable tool, serving two significant purposes: 

  1. Preserving Assets: By diverting excess income into a QIT, individuals can preserve their assets for themselves or their heirs, rather than using them up paying exorbitant healthcare costs.
  2. Maintaining Eligibility: A QIT ensures that individuals remain eligible for MassHealth benefits, providing crucial financial support for long-term care needs that would otherwise deplete their estate.

How to Create a MassHealth Qualified Income Trust

Creating a QIT involves specific legal steps to ensure compliance with MassHealth regulations. At Surprenant & Beneski, P.C., our attorneys are well-practiced in establishing QITs that follow all government guidelines to the letter. We will take you through the process seamlessly.

Helpful Services Surprenant & Beneski Provides

Legal Guidance

Our experienced elder care attorneys, well-versed in Medicaid planning, will offer legal advice based on knowledge of current state and federal law and tailored to align with your personal goals and priorities.

Bank Account Setup

To establish a QIT, you’ll need to open a bank account specifically for the trust. Our attorney can guide you through this process, ensuring that the account is set up correctly.

Trustee Designation

You must name an appropriate applicant as a trustee to manage the QIT. Because we are very familiar with this process and know which qualities and qualifications the trustee must have, we will assist you in your search for the right person or entity.

Trust Document Preparation

Our attorney will draft, review, and execute the necessary trust document, outlining the terms and conditions of the QIT and ensuring it is worded precisely and correctly.

Trust Administration

From trust creation to ongoing administration, Surprenant & Beneski offers comprehensive support to ensure your QIT will be in full compliance and fulfill its purpose, protecting your assets and providing you with essential funds to meet potential future needs.

Other Ways of Preparing for MassHealth Eligibility

In addition to QITs, there are several other strategies that can be employed to prepare for MassHealth eligibility, including Medicaid-compliant annuities, Life Estate Deeds, and gifting strategies. Why not make an appointment to consult with Surprenant & Beneski to discuss your options?

Contact Our Seasoned MassHealth Attorneys Now

Since no one knows when a sudden injury, medical event, or illness requiring long-term care may occur, it is imperative to make certain you have a strong estate plan in place. There is no day better than today to begin working with an experienced attorney to ensure your financial security and access to essential healthcare services. As soon as you contact us, you will feel the peace of mind that comes from having capable, caring professionals working hard to protect you and your loved ones no matter what the future brings.