Legal Service

Mainecare Applications Providing Peace of Mind in a Crisis
Mainecare application lawyer in Midcoast Maine

A sudden need for nursing home care is a stressful event. You need to be able to find care and afford care. Unfortunately, the Medicaid application process is complex, and delay can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars.


Medicaid Planning Explained

Mainecare is Complex


If a spouse or parent suddenly needs to be in a nursing home, decisions need to be made. Before there is time to adjust to this abrupt change in circumstances, a spouse or child is required to act. This is a crucial moment for your family when the wrong decision can cost you. Whether you’re the one who will be staying home, the one who needs nursing care, or their child, it is imperative at this stage to get good legal advice.

Penbay Estate Planning Law Center, in Camden Maine can determine quickly if you qualify for Mainecare Medicaid (Mainecare) or if with our help, you could qualify for Medicaid to pay for nursing home care.

While the Mainecare Medicaid rules are too complex to summarize in this brief description, generally, it is government program that will pay for nursing home care, but only if the applicant has very little income and assets. How little? The limits are adjusted periodically. So in order to qualify for Medicaid the applying couple or single person must have less assets and income than the limits allow.

Learning How to Plan for the High Cost of Nursing Home Care

It is very important to consult with an elder law attorney before making a Mainecare application for nursing home benefits. Making an application on your own, or allowing the medical institution to make your application can cost your estate thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Penbay Estate Planning Law Center provides free estate planning workshops. These workshops are meant to show you how you can plan for the high cost of nursing home care. They show you what methods are available to try and protect your home and property.

If you are not in crisis mode, learn how to plan at one of our free estate planning workshops.

How Do You Qualify?


Nursing Home Care at $10,000 Per Month

Mainecare Medicaid rules specify the income and asset limits for a couple when one of them is applying for Medicaid. The limits are different for single people, as well as when both spouses of a couple are applying. The complexity of the Medicaid system makes it especially important to find qualified legal assistance.
Each state specifies a maximum allowed income for individuals and couples in order to qualify for Medicaid. Also, the applicant’s total assets cannot exceed a specified amount called the Individual Resource Allowance. The Individual Resource Allowance in Maine as of the writing of this article is $2000 for individuals.


Additional Issues For Medicaid Crisis Planning


Is the House Protected?

Exempt Resources May Not Really Be Exempt

Although some of your property will not be counted against you, such as a car, or a house under a certain value, those exemptions are deceiving. Houses have carrying charges. The money you must spend down on nursing home care to get below the Resource Allowance limit could leave you without enough to money to pay the carrying charges on your house. Also, if a single person does exempt their house, and qualifies for Mainecare, Mainecare or DHHS will have a lien on the house for the cost of the nursing home care.

How Much Can We Keep?

Married vs Single Persons Applying For Medicaid

With married couples the process has added complications. For the nursing-home spouse to qualify for Medicaid in any state, the applicant’s at-home spouse can keep only half the couple’s assets up to a Maximum Community Spouse Resource Allowance of $123,600. So, if a couple has the maximum $123,600 in assets, they must “spend down” to all but $10,000. 

If your non-exempt property is over the $123,600 limit, you must spend down the money on qualifying expenses. If you give the money away or spend it on something that is not qualified, you will be penalized by being ineligible for Medicaid to pay for the nursing home. In other words, you will have to pay for it for months, or even years depending on how much you gave away. This is part of the infamous “look back” period rule.

Penbay Estate Planning Law Center are Medicaid application attorneys in Camden Maine. In a nursing home situation we can show you how to protect as much of your property as possible working within these very complex rules.

In a Medicaid application matter or a “Crisis” case as we call them time is of the essence. In order to preserve as much of the estate as possible it is important that a qualified elder law attorney be consulted as soon as possible. As the first of the month approaches and you receive another bill in the mail from the nursing home for another $14,000, the stress can be overwhelming. Soyka Bifulco can provide peace of mind, and reduce significantly your family’s exposure.


A Medicaid application prepared by an asset protection attorney can protect your home and assets from the high cost of nursing home care even in a Crisis case.

There are ways to protect from the high cost of nursing homes. However, there are no perfect solutions. Preplanning options include long term care insurance, and asset protection trusts.

Mainecare Nursing Home Crisis: the Basics

Senior disability planning in Maine is important to prevent the additional expense of legal proceedings, such as guardianship and conservatorship.
If you are the spouse of someone in crisis, or their advocate, you may need to act in their interests. While many people have the basic legal documents needed in a crisis, many do not. Without these basic estate planning documents it may be too late to avoid costly legal procedures.
Durable General Power of Attorney
Advance Directive for Health Care

Those Over Age 65 Who Will Need Some Nursing Home Care


Average Annual Cost of Nursing Home Care