Medicaid Applications Providing Peace of Mind in a Crisis

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 Crisis Planning & Planning for Mom & Dad by reputable staten island lawyers

Medicaid 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 Medicaid (Mainecare) or if with our help, you could qualify for Medicaid to pay for nursing home care.

While the 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.

How Do You Qualify?

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Nursing Home Care at $14,000 Per Month

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.

Is the House Protected?

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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?

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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.

Results

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.

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Those Over Age 65 Who Will Need Some Nursing Home Care

Average Annual Cost of Nursing Home Care