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Q&A: Qualifying for Medicaid

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.

Qualifying for Medicaid

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, ev