Preserving Medicaid Eligibility For Nursing Home Care
Unless you have long-term care insurance or millions of dollars, going into a nursing home is prohibitively expensive. Unfortunately, many of our clients approach us when it is too late to purchase long-term care insurance.
Medicaid may be the alternative. Medicaid subsidizes the costs of nursing home care, but only after the person’s estate is all but depleted. With strategic planning, it is possible to preserve Medicaid eligibility without spending down all the family’s wealth. The Claire helps Indiana families protect their assets through Medicaid planning.
Call our experienced elder law attorney at 317-953-2452 to discuss Medicaid planning.
Understanding The Role Of Medicaid
Medicaid is a federal program that is independently administered in each state. Many families rely on Medicaid to pay for nursing home care. It is one of the most complex and puzzling laws in this country, complicated by the fact that each state has its own Medicaid laws and limits.
The average cost of a year’s stay in an Indiana long-term care facility ranges from $75,000 to $95,000, making it difficult or impossible for most persons to pay for their care. Most people who need care for extended periods will eventually exhaust their assets and be unable to pay the costs of their care.
When Does Medicaid Kick In?
Medicare provides health coverage to those over age 65 (or under 65 but disabled). However, Medicare generally does not cover nursing home care or, if so, only for the short term. That’s where Medicaid comes in. Medicaid pays for nursing home care for low-income individuals. That means that the individual or couple must deplete their own assets before qualifying for nursing home coverage.
There are legitimate estate planning strategies to qualify for Medicaid assistance without spending down all the family’s hard-earned wealth. With our expertise in Medicaid law, we can assist you in planning for the expenses of long-term care as well as planning for the protection of resources for you and your family.
12 Common Myths About Medicaid
Many people believe the following to be true:
- Medicaid will take my home.
- If I’m already in a nursing home, it’s too late to plan for Medicaid.
- All my property will be turned over to the nursing home or Medicaid.
- I will lose my Social Security or pension income if I go on the Medicaid program.
- If I’m in a nursing home, I can’t provide for my spouse or for my disabled or minor children.
- If my spouse is in a nursing home, Medicaid will make me split our resources 50/50.
- My income alone is fairly modest. If my spouse goes into a nursing home, I won’t have enough income on which to live.
- I can’t own any assets of value and qualify for Medicaid.
- I can’t own any real estate and qualify for Medicaid.
- Medicaid will not pay for my care if I want to remain in my own home.
- If I have received Medicaid benefits during my lifetime, Medicaid will take all my estate when I die.
- I cannot pass the family farm onto my children, even if I have been actively involved in the operation of the business.
With proper legal planning, the Medicaid applicant has many options available to preserve personal property and real estate for his or her future needs or for the protection of his or her family. The 12 myths listed above illustrate the many misconceptions people have about Medicaid. Medicaid planning can provide a favorable solution to all these concerns.
- Changes in Medicaid
- Transfer of Assets
- Family and Social Services Administration Directory of Local Offices
- Family and Social Services Organizational Directory
- Federal Medicaid and Medicare Program Manuals
- Find a Person
- Free Phones for Medicaid Recipients
- Medicaid Manual (Indiana Health Coverage Program Policy Manual)
- Indiana Government Publication on Waiver Services
- Information From the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (Federal government site)
- Medicaid General (Primarily Provider Information)
- Medicaid Waiver Approved Assisted Living Facilities
- Medicaid Waivers for Developmental Disabilities, Autism and Support Services
- Money Follows the Person Program
- State Medicaid Site on Waiver Services
- State Medicaid Application
- State Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services (DDRS) (Homepage, including information on Medicaid waivers)
Experienced Counsel In Elder Law
Attorney Claire Lewis has extensive experience with this issue. She has helped many Indiana families overcome the Medicaid nursing home dilemma. To discuss your situation, call our Indianapolis firm at 317-953-2452 or contact us online.