Nursing home asset protection is something that should be on your radar when you are looking ahead toward your elder years. If you were to consult with an elder law attorney, you would hear about the impact that long-term care costs can have on your financial legacy.
Many people are surprised when they find out that Medicare does not pay for nursing home care. This is relevant even if you have been healthy throughout your life, because most seniors will someday need living assistance. In fact, the percentage is a robust 70 percent according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
Elder law attorneys help people plan ahead with these costs in mind. Medicaid coverage is one possible solution. This government health insurance program does pay for long-term care, but it is only available to people who can demonstrate a significant level of financial need.
The Medicaid limit on countable assets is just $2,000. However, your home is not considered to be a countable asset, as long as its value does not exceed the equity limit. We practice law in the state of Indiana. In our state, the limit is $552,000 in 2015. There are annual adjustments to account for inflation, so you may see a slightly higher figure year-by-year.
Though you could potentially qualify for Medicaid even if you retain ownership of your home, a lien could be placed on the home, because each state is required to seek recovery from the estate of anyone who uses Medicare to pay for long-term care.
You could potentially give your home to your child before you apply for Medicaid coverage to keep the home in the family. However, you have to act in advance if you go this route, because the gift giving must be completed at least five years before you apply for coverage. A gift given within this five-year window triggers a period of ineligibility for Medicaid, and you would be forced to pay out-of-pocket during this interim.
There is an exception to this rule. If your child has been living in your home for at least two years before you apply for Medicaid, and the child has been acting as a caregiver, you could give your child the home as a gift. This would not violate the five-year look back, and Medicaid would not try to attach the home after your passing.
Free Nursing Home Asset Protection Consultation
Long-term care costs can be devastating, because nursing homes are very expensive. If you would like to obtain more comprehensive information about how Medicaid can provide a long-term care solution, our firm would be glad to assist you.
We can answer your questions in person if you would like to take direct action. Our firm offers free consultations, and you can send us a message through our contact page to set up an appointment: Indianapolis IN Elder Law Attorneys.
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.