Nursing Home Medicaid Planning

It’s never too late to plan. We help families in Daviess, Ohio, Henderson, McLean, Hancock, Hopkins and all surrounding western Kentucky counties whose loved one has suffered a serious illness that requires a nursing home. Even when a health care crisis happens and you didn’t pre-plan, we can still help families preserve their homes and much of their savings.  It is better to plan late than never at all.  If you do nothing, all of your money can go towards medical care and nothing will be left for your family. Come talk to us now to protect as much as possible. 

Much of what we do involves Medicaid planning. Medicaid is a joint state and federal program.  While Medicare won’t pay for most long-term care nursing home costs, Medicaid will.  However, there are certain income and asset rules. An applicant is allowed to have a certain amount of income and assets and get qualified for Medicaid.  Some assets are exempt in this calculation.  And, there are additional rules regarding what an applicant’s spouse can keep.  The government doesn’t want the well spouse, sometimes called the community spouse, to be impoverished if their sick spouse needs nursing home care.  So the well spouse is allowed to keep a certain amount of assets and all of their individual income so that they can still live in the community.

However, don’t get hung up on these eligibility rules.  We can help you to qualify under these rules while still protecting your money.  Meaning, you don’t have to worry about your current income and assets.  Even if you think you have too much income to qualify, we can work within the rules to still get you qualified.  Many legal strategies can be undertaken to allow you or your loved one to qualify for Medicaid as soon as possible.

Let us help you understand the planning challenges you face and the options you have available. Request an appointment to learn more.

The Medicaid rules also have a look-back period.  If a Medicaid application is submitted, the agency will look back at the prior five years to see if you gifted any money away.  If you did, they could impose a penalty where you would not qualify for benefits for a certain amount of time.  This is why it is best to plan early.  However, even if you have made gifts during this look-back period and need care soon, there are still options to get qualified.  Medicaid rules are complex and difficult to navigate.  It is best to have an experienced attorney on your case, to guide you through the process and ensure you take the best steps for your situation. 

Many clients may wonder what will happen to their home, should they enter the nursing home, and apply for Medicaid benefits. There are two prongs to this concern – will your home be protected during your lifetime and will your home be protected after your death.

During your lifetime, your home remains protected under certain circumstances, including if your spouse or other dependent family member resides in the home.  Also, your homestead property remains excluded from eligibility requirements during the first six months of institutionalization.  If you have an intent to return home, your homestead property will remain protected and excluded from Medicaid’s reach.  The home is often a very valuable asset and you will probably want to preserve this for your family.  We can guide you on how best to do that. 

Upon your death, if you have received certain Medicaid benefits after the age of 55, such as nursing home care and adult daycare, your home may be subject to estate recovery.  Estate recovery means that the state can place a lien on your home and take your home if the home is subject to a probate process.  Because of the specific rules regarding estate recovery, there are ways to have your home still protected after your death. You need our help to ensure your loved ones will inherit your home after your death.

If you didn’t plan and are a loved one currently dealing with a Medicaid lien, we can help you in your case.  We can help resolve that Medicaid lien in the best way possible.

Most clients also have other assets that they want to protect as much as possible:  an IRA, 401(k), cars, household goods, bank accounts, stock accounts, CDs, or rental properties.  We can guide you towards the best plan to protect as much as possible.

Everyone needs to plan.  That includes you and your loved ones!  We will review your loved one’s care needs, their overall finances, and their current care situation, and we help families decide whether Medicaid is the right choice. If so, we can help qualify a loved one for Medicaid quickly and avoid losing all of the family’s life savings.

We believe strongly in preventing a family from losing everything to the high costs of long-term care.  The consequences of doing nothing can be devastating to families.  Not only will the process be more stressful, but it will also have a greater impact on the assets of the person needing care. Plan as soon as possible to get the most protection possible for you and your family.

Let us take the financial burden off of you and let you focus on what’s important to you: your loved one’s well-being. Call (270) 852-1622 or contact us to schedule an appointment to discuss your needs.