Even in a Crisis, It’s Never too Late to Plan
Federal laws can protect your loved ones from becoming totally impoverished because of your Long Term Care costs.
Most people who make the decision to move into a nursing home do so during a time of great stress. Some have been hospitalized after a stroke, some have fallen and broken a hip, and still others have progressive dementia, like Alzheimer’s disease, and can no longer be cared for in their own homes.
Whatever the reason, the spouse or relative who helps a person transition faces the immediate dilemma of finding the right nursing home, and then must find a way to cope with a bill that may total several thousand dollars per month.
Fortunately, the Medicaid Program can help. In fact, in our lifetime, Medicaid has become the Long Term Care resource of the Middle Class. About two-thirds of the nation’s nursing home residents have their cost of care paid in part by Medicaid. But the eligibility to receive Medicaid benefits requires that you meet certain criteria regarding income and assets. The reason to seek Medicaid assistance is simple – you need to protect enough assets for the security of your loved ones.
But Medicaid qualification rules are complicated and confusing. Without the proper Advocate to assist you with the qualification process, you may spend more money than you should and your family’s security may be jeopardized.
Things to consider when doing a Medicaid crisis plan include:
- Getting a handle on your current Medicaid eligibility. Are there any ‘red flags’ to deal with? Gifts or transfers of assets to family members, friends, or even your spouse can cause a loss of benefits.
- Determine what assets can be protected. Some assets are exempt and some are not. Planning needs to be done carefully. One wrong move could result in a penalty, during which time Medicaid benefits will be denied. Don’t do anything without fully understanding how it will impact your eligibility and the application process.
- The application process for Medicaid Benefits can be complicated. The Department of Human Services may want to see everything you have done with your money for the last five years. If the caseworker finds anything not permitted by ‘the rules,’ you may have to wait through a penalty period without benefits.
Becoming eligible for Medicaid could save you thousands of dollars each month on nursing home bills, but it must be done correctly. We are dedicated to helping you and your family find and utilize every benefit available to you. If you have a parent or loved one who may need home health, assisted living, or Long Term Care assistance in the near future, please contact our office to arrange a FREE 1-Hour Initial Consultation.
The information provided on this blog is intended as general information only for a broad audience. It is not intended as legal advice and should not be acted upon as such. If any reader has questions or concerns about any matter mentioned herein, he/she should contact an Elder Law Attorney or other appropriate professional. If any reader has questions or suggestions about a future topic area that he/she would like to see discussed, please contact the author at email@example.com.