At Parman & Easterday, our legal team believes you deserve to keep the money, property, and assets that you have worked all your life to acquire. These assets should serve as your legacy and you should be able to hand property down to your loved ones or use your money to support charities that you care about. Unfortunately, if you need to go into a nursing home and you do not have a Medicaid plan in place, that might not happen.
Nursing homes are extremely costly, and not covered by private insurers or even Medicare in most cases. Medicaid covers the cost of care, but only if you spend down your assets or if you make an advanced plan to protect them.
Our Medicaid planning lawyers in Oklahoma City, OK and in Kansas City, KS, can help you to create your personalized plan. Give us a call today to find out more about your personalized solutions for protecting your assets and qualifying for Medicaid and to get answers to questions including:
- What is involved in Medicaid planning?
- When should I begin the Medicaid planning process?
- How can a Kansas City Medicaid planning lawyer help me?
What is Involved in Medicaid Planning?
Medicaid planning is a process of trying to get Medicaid to cover you sooner than the program otherwise would. Medicaid is a means-tested government benefits program, which has strict qualification criteria. It is also one of the only sources of nursing home payments available, as Medicare and most private insurers simply will not pay for routine custodial care in a nursing home.
Because Medicaid may be your only chance to get nursing home care covered, not being able to qualify for Medicaid benefits could destroy your legacy. You could be forced to spend your entire life savings and even sell property if you end up needing nursing home care as you get older.
You would eventually be able to qualify as you spent down your resources and came below Medicaid’s permissible asset level that is required for you to qualify for benefits. The problem, of course, is then your savings would be gone and you would not have a legacy to leave to your loved ones.
The Medicaid planning process involves making sure your assets and property can be protected. You can structure ownership of this property in a smart way so that the assets and property you have in your possession are not actually counted as your possessions when assessing eligibility for means-tested Medicaid benefits. The assets will not be disqualifying if you do Medicaid planning correctly, and on paper you will not have resources, so Medicaid will begin to pay for nursing home care when you need it.
You can do this process by using special types of trusts, and by making strategic transfers of assets. It is is imperative that you follow all legal guidelines for doing the process correctly to protect your assets, so you should strongly consider getting help from a legal professional.
When Should I Begin the Medicaid Planning Process?
Medicaid has a rule in place called the five year lookback rule. The purpose of the rule is to make sure that people do not transfer or give away property just to qualify for benefits. Medicaid will look back five years from when you require nursing home care, and will see if any assets were transferred. If so, you’ll be disqualified from Medicaid for a set number of months equal to dividing the value of transferred assets by the average monthly nursing home cost. During the disqualification period, you will likely have to pay out of pocket for nursing care.
To protect the maximum assets, this means you should try to create a Medicaid plan five years before you require nursing home care. If it is too late, you should act as quickly as possible to protect the maximum in assets.
How Can an Oklahoma City, OK Medicaid Planning Lawyer Help?
Parman & Easterday has a long track record of providing comprehensive Medicaid planning help to clients in and around Oklahoma City, OK and Kansas City, KS. When you are concerned about the legacy you will leave behind and you want to make sure your assets will not be lost due to the bills for nursing home care, you need to take action.
Give us a call today at (405)-843-6100 in Oklahoma City or 913-385-9400 in Kansas to begin the Medicaid planning process. You can also contact us online to speak with a member of our legal team and learn how to start protecting your assets so you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing a nursing home won’t drive you broke and leave nothing for you to give to the people you love.