If you require costly long-term care that other kinds of insurance will not cover, our Oklahoma City Medicaid planning attorneys can help you make plans to qualify for Medicaid. Millions of seniors rely on Medicaid to supplement their Medicare coverage and provide payment for services that Medicare does not pay for – specifically, your stay in a nursing home. If you will need Medicaid to pay for your nursing home or at-home care, it is important that you work with an experienced Medicaid planning attorney to make the right plans to get care when you need it.
Parman & Easterday has helped many clients access means-tested Medicaid benefits without having to impoverish themselves in order to gain coverage. We can work closely with you to keep as much of your wealth as safe as possible depending upon your specific circumstances, including when you need Medicaid to help defray nursing home expenses. You should give us a call today to find out how we can help you qualify for Medicaid coverage and discover whether making a Medicaid plan is important for you.
Can You Give Away Your Wealth In Order To Get Medicaid Coverage?
Medicaid is one of the only sources of payment for nursing home care or at-home long-term care that seniors may need. Medicare does not pay for any kind of nursing home care except in very limited circumstances, perhaps for up to a maximum of 100 days, and only if you meet very stringent qualifications. Bottom line – don’t expect it and certainly don’t depend on it.
First, let’s be clear about custodial care. It is the kind of care that most seniors need because sickness or infirmity makes it impossible for them to handle basic activities of daily living (referred to as ADLs). Custodial care provides the services and supplies for ADLs that can be provided safely and reasonably by individuals who are neither skilled nor licensed medical personnel. You will not be covered by Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medigap, or private insurance for custodial care. Medicaid is typically the only source of a government payment for this care. Of course, some of you may have purchased comprehensive long-term care insurance which will cover some of your nursing home costs. It is often too expensive for most people and frequently contains coverage limitations that make such policies impractical for use.
Unfortunately, when you try to qualify to have Medicaid pay for nursing home care or at-home care, you may discover that you are ineligible because you have too many assets. If this happens, it is tempting to just give away your wealth to heirs or beneficiaries because you don’t want to have to spend all of your money on nursing home care and lose the opportunity to leave a legacy.
Generally, to qualify for Medicaid, you have to be broke – no more than $2,000 in total assets, other than a few items such as an allowance for your house, a car, some personal items and other minor tangibles. The problem is, you cannot just give away wealth to qualify for Medicaid coverage. In fact, if you try, you could end up disqualifying yourself from being eligible for Medicaid for a period of time. Then, when you apply for Medicaid to cover your care, a five-year lookback rule applies. If you made a transfer of assets for less than the fair market value of any asset during the previous five years from the time when you are trying to get covered by Medicaid, you’ll be temporarily prohibited from receiving Medicaid coverage to pay for nursing home care.
The period of disqualification is based on a calculation that determines the number of months that you will be prohibited from getting benefits. To find the number of months of disqualification, divide the value of transferred assets by the average monthly cost of nursing home care in your area. For example, if you transferred $20,000 and the cost of a nursing home in your area is $5,000 monthly, you would be disqualified from being eligible for Medicaid coverage for a period of four months. If you transferred $250,000 you would be disqualified for 50 months, a period that may exceed your nursing home stay.
How Can Oklahoma City Medicaid Planning Attorneys Help You?
Parman & Easterday has a team of highly qualified Oklahoma City Medicaid planning attorneys who will work with you to make sure you do not make Medicaid planning mistakes that could jeopardize your ability to get Medicaid coverage. We can also help you to determine if making a Medicaid plan is the right choice for you or if there are other approaches that you should consider to fund your long-term care.
To find out more about the Medicaid planning services that we provide, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call today at (405) 843-6100 or (913) 385-9400 or contact us online to get started on your personalized Medicaid plan.