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Medicaid Articles of Interest:

Medicaid Program: What do I need to know?

Medicaid Eligibility: How do you know for sure?

Apply for Medicaid: 5 Important Decision Points

Medicaid Law: Protecting assets while qualifying for Medicaid

Medicaid Law and Protecting Your Parent's Assets Page #2

Medicaid Spend Down to Eligibility

Medicare Articles of Interest:

Medicare

Medicare Insurance: What are the facts?

Original Medicare Plan

Medicare Prescription Coverage

Medicare Assignment

Medicare Advantage Plan

Medicare Part A

Medicare Part B

Medigap Insurance

Medicare Supplement Plans

Medicare Supplement Plans: 10 Important Shopping Tips

Additional Retirement Related Articles:

Retirement Plan: The Basics   

Can You Retire Before You Die?

Can You Retire Before You Die? (Page #2)    

Senior Real Estate Specialists; Seniors Enter the Housing Market   

Don't Wait Too Long For Incapacity

Advice For Seniors: Working Your Way Through Retirement    

Aging, Elder Care, and Senior Retirement Centers

Social Security Disability: How do you apply?

Health Insurance 101 for Senior Citizens 

Retiring Better for Less    

Using the Durable Power of Attorney

When to Contact a Nursing Home Attorney

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Medicaid Law: Protecting Assets While Qualifying for Medicaid 

 

Itís important to understand some of the major provisions of the Medicaid law in order to protect your assets while also qualifying for Medicaid benefits. Your parent may have saved all of their life so they can pass something along to their children.  Maybe they wanted the parentís home or piece of land to stay in the family. When facing the prospect of possible nursing home bills, an understanding of Medicaid law may help you to protect savings, a house or land that may be in jeopardy. 

Your parent may be able to protect some of their assets and still be eligible for Medicaid through an appropriate understanding of Medicaid law or by consulting with a Medicaid lawyer and planning in advance.  The sooner you act, the better you will be able to protect some assets and still qualify for Medicaid. 

Of course, the prospect of protecting oneís property and other financial resources and then going on Medicaid may raise troubling moral and/or legal questions.  The Medicaid program was set up for those who are truly in need.  What your parent may save the taxpayers pay.  Over the long run, unfortunately, these actions destroy the system for those who truly need it.  Furthermore, your parentís money is for their living expenses not for your inheritance.  Once on public assistance however, this may also mean being provided with inadequate care. 

On the other hand, some argue that wealthier individuals are privy to all kinds of financial wrangling to protect their estates from taxes, so why shouldn't people with smaller estates also have some opportunity to do so on a smaller scale.  Your family will need to be guided by their own moral and political code on these matters. 

At the present time, in many states your parent can protect their assets by giving them out-right to others, or by putting them in an irrevocable trust your parent cannot touch or benefit from, according to current Medicaid law.  But this must be done very early in the game. 

 

For the most part, when an individual applies for Medicaid, officials usually examine their financial records for the past 36 months to see if any gifts or transfers have been made within that period of time.  Anyone who has been given a substantial gift or have transferred assets during what is usually referred to as a "look back" period may not qualify for Medicaid until sometime into the future.  Usually, the individual must wait for the period of time to pass that would pay for nursing home care equal to the amount that was given away or has been otherwise been transferred.  However, Medicaid attorneys have found ingenious ways to even get around this provision in the Medicaid law.

Some information from How to Care for Aging Parents by Virginia Morris

Additional Information and webpage by Paul Susic MA Licensed Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate                                      

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