Asset Protection Tips & Stories Estate Planning? Sick or Disabled Parents?

10 Questions To Ask About Medicaid

Edited by Rory Clark

Many seniors and their families are fearful of the cost of hiring a lawyer to arrange for long-term care or ABD Medicaid. An experienced elder law attorney can guide you through the very technical process of applying for ABD Medicaid, help you save money in the long run, and make sure you are getting the best care for your loved one. 

ABD Medicaid rules provide multiple opportunities for long-term care recipients to preserve assets for themselves, their spouses, children, and grandchildren, especially those with special needs. There are more opportunities for those who plan. However, even at the last minute, when an application is needed immediately, steps are still available to preserve some assets. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about Medicaid and the facts behind them.

Does Medicaid pay for the nursing home entirely, allowing you to keep your regular income?

The simple truth is that most of your income will go to the nursing home. Medicaid will pay the difference between your revenue and the overall cost.

Will Medicare pay for all of your nursing home costs?

Medicare will only pay for rehabilitation services. Long-Term Care needs are covered out of your pocket. However, you can avoid losing all of your assets to long-term care through proper planning. Asset protection tools, such as a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust, allow you to preserve future generations’ assets and retain Medicaid eligibility.

Should I Do My Medicaid planning before going into a nursing home?

It is never too late to start Medicaid planning. At The Legacy Elder Law Center, we can help you and your family organize assets properly. Many available asset protection options can be completed on short notice.

Do I need an ElderLaw Attorney for planning?

Many nursing homes and assisted living centers have social workers that can help you apply. However, these people are not necessarily your advocates. They may not understand all of the resources available to prevent a denial of benefits. As an experienced Medicaid planning team, we have a firm understanding of the application process and avoid complications that can lead to contradictions.

If I put money in my spouse’s name, will it ensure I qualify for Medicaid?

Medicaid does not require that a person transfer all assets to a spouse or become impoverished. Careful planning can help an individual or couple retain many of their assets while still qualifying for benefits.

Is it true that only impoverished people qualify for Medicaid?

In all states, Medicaid is available to low-income individuals and families, pregnant women, people with disabilities, and the elderly. Medicaid programs vary from state to state, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) allows states to provide Medicaid to adults (under the age of 65) without minor children or a disability.

People with significant assets can qualify for Medicaid by utilizing the financial and asset protection strategies available to them. A Medicaid planning lawyer can help you decide which tools are best for your situation.

Is it true that a person cannot receive Medicaid benefits until five years after transferring their assets?

While this is true in some cases, there are Medicaid plans that reduce or eliminate this period. We will explain the waiting period and develop a plan that works best for you and your family.

Are assets in a living trust protected from nursing home costs?

Assets in a living trust are not protected from nursing home costs. Other types of trusts may protect your assets. We will help you decide which trust, if any, best meets your financial goals.

Is it true if you enter a nursing home paying out-of-pocket, you will need to wait for an available Medicaid bed to start paying through your benefits?

This is not true. If your nursing home accepts Medicaid, you can switch payment methods at almost any time.

Are hiding assets an appropriate way to ensure Medicaid eligibility?

You should never intentionally hide assets. It may result in criminal penalties. Our attorneys will advise you on legal options that protect your assets and maintain eligibility for benefits.

Contact our experienced ABD Medicaid team today

Medicaid planning is a complex area of elder law. Every client has unique needs and desires. Our Medicaid planning attorneys will work with you to find the best solution to getting top-quality care without losing your life savings.

About the author

Rory Clark

Rory has more than 30 years’ experience practicing elder law, estate planning, asset protection, Veteran’s affairs, and special needs planning. Through his personal journey, Rory not only understands the complex legal issues involved as a professional but also the intense emotional issues as a caregiver.

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