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Understanding Medicaid

       

One of the most complicated areas of the law affecting the elderly is Medicaid rules, regulations, and procedures.  For those unfamiliar with Medicaid rules, especially regarding long-term care which is the Medicaid benefit most frequently needed as more and more senior adults need care in nursing home or assisted living facilities, stepping into that unfamiliar territory can be like stepping out onto thin ice.

 

Medicaid benefits are need-based, and as a general rule, one must be impoverished with medical need before he or she can receive Medicaid.  There are a number of financial and non-financial requirements that must be satisfied before one can be elibile for Medicaid, and one of the most difficult requirements to satisfy is the resource requirement.  As a general rule, if you have countable resources in excess of two thousand dollars ($2,000), then you will not be eligible to receive long-term care benefits through Medicaid.  Certain assets, however, are excludable resources, which means that the value of those specific assets do not count against the $2,000 limit on countable resources.

thin ice

One trap into which many unwary people fall is thinking that they can become eligible for Medicaid by giving away (or "selling" at a price substantially less than fair market value) their assets.  Don't fall into that trap.  It doesn't work.  What's more, trying to give away your assets may land you in over your head.  Medicaid planning is perfectly legal, and often a very smart move, but Medicaid fraud is definitely illegal, and always a bad move.

If you believe that you, or someone you love, may currently be eligible for Medicaid, or if you believe you, or someone you love, may need Medicaid in the future, you should talk to an attorney.  Don't walk blindly out onto the ice, hoping that your footing is secure.  We can help you understand Medicaid rules so that you can evaluate where you stand right now, and how to get where you need to be.  Please contact us to arrange an appointment to discuss your unique situation, so that you can have peace of mind as you move forward.