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Will the Affordable Care Act Eliminate the Need for Special Needs Trust?

The need for Special Needs Trusts has been called into question under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, we believe that Special Needs Trusts will continue to be beneficial and necessary in the future.

The ACA requires health insurance companies to eliminate certain restrictions and requirements, making it easier for people to obtain health insurance. The ACA also expands access to Medicaid (known as Medi-Cal in California) if a state chooses to do so. California is one state that has elected to expand Medi-Cal to those who would not have previously been eligible.

With the expansion of Medi-Cal, many persons have questioned the need for Special Needs Trusts, since persons with disabilities will have access to Medi-Cal services. It is our opinion, however, that Special Needs Trusts will continue to be appropriate and beneficial much of the time since Special Needs Trusts are often created for reasons other than simply qualifying for Medi-Cal. Although Medi-Cal eligibility is one reason to establish a Special Needs Trust, other reasons include helping a person with special needs manage their assets and finances, providing an advocate for a person with special needs, protecting a person with special needs from financial exploitation, and qualifying a person with special needs for other public benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

With the many benefits of both First Party and Third Party Special Needs Trusts, we believe that they will continue to be useful planning tools for years to come.

[Disclaimer: The materials contained on this website have been authored or gathered by the Law Offices of Stuart D. Zimring, and are intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be and is not considered to be legal advice. Transmission is not intended to create and receipt does not establish an attorney-client relationship.]