Medicaid attorneys help you to get covered by Medicaid for services that no other type of insurance will pay for. Medicaid covers long-term care and nursing home care for many seniors, while Medicare and private insurance provide limited or no coverage for these types of care. While Medicare only pays for skilled nursing care, Medicaid pays for custodial care, which is the kind of basic help with activities of daily living that seniors often require as they age or if they get sick.
If you cannot get Medicare or any other insurance to pay for your long-term care costs or nursing home bills, you are in a difficult position. Unless you have purchased a long-term care insurance policy in advance of the time you need care, you’ll have to try to qualify for Medicaid and will have to pay out of pocket if you cannot get Medicaid benefits. The problem is, Medicaid is means-tested so if you have assets and financial resources, you typically won’t be able to get covered. If you’re faced with the prospect of impoverishing yourself by paying for costly nursing home care until you’re poor enough to get Medicaid, you may be tempted to try giving away your wealth to protect it. Unfortunately, this can backfire.
Rather than putting your Medicaid benefits at risk by trying to give away your wealth or come up with a Medicaid plan on your own, you should call Medicaid attorneys at Frank & Kraft as soon as possible. In fact, it is ideal if you can talk with an experienced attorney about making a Medicaid plan long before the time comes when you actually need nursing home care. To find out more about how we can help you with making plans in case you must move into a nursing home, give us a call today.
Can You Give Away Wealth to Get Medicaid?
While it may seem like a good idea to just give your money or property to your children or other loved ones so you can have limited assets and qualify for Medicaid, this plan could actually end up causing you to become disqualified from Medicaid for months or even years. The problem is, Medicaid has a five year lookback rule. Under the five year lookback rule, Medicaid will review five years of your transactions when you apply to receive Medicaid benefits. If you gave away your wealth or transferred assets for less than the fair market value of those assets during that five year period of time, you face disqualification from Medicaid.
You will not be eligible to receive Medicaid coverage for a specific number of months, as determined by the value of the assets that you transferred divided by the average cost of a nursing home per month in your area. For example, if you transferred $20,000 worth of assets and the average cost of nursing home care for a month in the area where you live is $5,000, you would determine the number of months of disqualification from Medicaid by dividing $20,000 (the value of assets you gave away) by $5,000 (the average nursing home cost per month). You would end up being disqualified from getting Medicaid to pay for your nursing home care for a period of four months.
The larger the transfer of assets, the longer you will be disqualified from getting Medicaid to pay for your nursing home care. There are ways to protect your wealth that don’t trigger Medicaid disqualification. but you need to talk with an experienced attorney as soon as possible about how to keep as much of your wealth as possible safe from loss.
Getting Help from Medicaid Attorneys
Medicaid attorneys at Frank & Kraft will work closely with you to identify whether your assets are at risk or whether your wealth could prevent you from becoming eligible for Medicaid coverage that you may want to rely on. If you are in jeopardy of having your assets lost due to nursing home care costs or long-term care costs, we can assist you with making an advanced asset protection plan if you do not need nursing home care imminently. We can also help you with a crisis plan if you have assets you want to protect and an imminent need for Medicaid that you cannot qualify for because of your wealth.
To find out more about the techniques our Medicaid attorneys use and about the way in which our legal team can assist you with making and carrying out a Medicaid plan, you can join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at 317-684-1100 or contact us online to get personalized assistance with making your Medicaid plan so you do not cause yourself to become disqualified from getting benefits. You should give us a call today to find out how we can help you.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.