Updated: Apr 18
Answering 8 important questions about qualifying for nursing home Medicaid and preserving your assets at the same time.
Conversations about how to qualify for Medicaid benefits relating to assisted living and nursing home care can be complicated. Very few people know or understand the complexities and intricacies associated with Medicaid Planning and asset preservation - which is, of course, understandable. But we can all achieve a baseline knowledge of the basic elements. Below are answers to 8 important questions regarding qualifying for nursing home and assisted living Medicaid, and preserving your assets at the same time.
Q: Do I need to be impoverished in order to qualify for Medicaid? A: No! This is the biggest misconception concerning Medicaid qualification for nursing homes and assisted living programs. There are numerous strategies that a good Medicaid Planning Lawyer can use to legally reallocate your assets and income in order to preserve both and get you the financial government assistance you need. And with U.S. nursing homes costing over $8,000 per month, proper planning is key. Q: But I don’t need Medicaid because Medicare will pay for my nursing home costs, right? A: No! Medicare will not cover long term care costs. Medicare may pay for a skilled nursing facility for a short period of time and under very specific circumstances. Details vary case-by-case, but one thing is certain – Medicare is not the answer. Q: Why do I need a Medicaid Planning Lawyer if a social worker at the nursing home is helping me? A: Because the more assets you have, the more you have to lose. Social workers are a great resource to assist people with no assets to preserve, but (through no fault of their own) they do not possess the legal expertise necessary to properly navigate through more complex situations. A Medicaid Planning Lawyer is uniquely qualified to prepare legal documents such as trusts and contracts, and has all the tools necessary to plan and build the perfect strategy for you and your family. Most importantly, failure to comply with the rigorous Medicaid Application requirements can result in penalties and disqualification, which can cost you tens of thousands of dollars each year. Contact us today for more info on Medicaid Planning. Q: Well then why don’t I just give my assets away to my wife or kids? That will solve all my problems, right? A: No! One of the worst things you can do is haphazardly transfer your assets to family members without considering the legal consequences. Specifically, Medicaid will look back at transfers of assets made within the last five (5) years, and can penalize you for these transfers or even disqualify you altogether. Luckily, not all transfers will result in a penalty or disqualification. Certain specific types of transfers, if done properly, can actually help you qualify for Medicaid. Our Medicaid Planning Lawyers know exactly what, when and how to reallocate your assets. Let us guide you through this legal maze. Q: All my assets are already in a trust, so Medicaid doesn’t count them, right? A: No! Assets owned by common family or marriage trusts, even those prepared by estate planning lawyers, are still vulnerable to nursing home costs and are counted when determining financial eligibility. Fortunately, there are other types of trusts that can be used to protect your assets. Let our Medicaid Planning Lawyers show you how. Q: Why don’t I just “hide” my assets when I apply… Maybe I just “forgot” to disclose everything… Will that work? A: No! Intentionally lying or conveniently forgetting what you own constitutes a fraud and a crime. Don’t turn a solvable matter into an unsolvable problem. Legal planning strategies exist, and are just a phone call away. Call us today. Q: I’m already in a private nursing home. So it’s too late for me to get Medicaid, right? A: No! All this means is that you should act fast and consult a Medicaid Planning Lawyer to be able to apply as quickly as possible and preserve as much of your assets and income as you can. You should also note that the nursing home cannot discharge you just because you elect to change from private pay to Medicaid. Q: So let me get this straight… even if I am not impoverished and I have some assets/income I can still qualify for Medicaid and have the government pay for my nursing home care while preserving some if not all of my assets and life savings at the same time? A: Yes! That’s where we come in! Every situation is unique and requires an in-depth analysis. Let our Medicaid Planning Lawyers conduct a free evaluation of your circumstances and provide you with the best course of action towards affordable long-term care and asset preservation. Your peace of mind is worth it.