Long Island Medicaid planning lawyers provide you with help making a plan that allows you to obtain coverage from Medicaid when you need costly care that other types of insurance will not pay for. There is a substantial chance you could require Medicaid coverage at some point during the course of your lifetime because Medicaid may be the only source of payment for nursing care. If you must go into a nursing home and Medicaid won’t pay for it because you aren’t eligible for Medicaid benefits, you could spend your entire nest egg in a matter of months and could lose the chance to leave a legacy.
Mark S. Eghrari & Associates, PLLC can help to make sure that does not happen. Our Long Island Medicaid planning lawyers can work with you to assess the risks that you’ll need nursing home care that won’t be paid for. If the creation of a Medicaid plan is appropriate for your situation, we will guide you through the effective use of legal tools that can keep as much of your wealth safe as possible. We can also help you to avoid common mistakes, such as simply giving away your wealth, which could cause you to become disqualified from getting Medicaid to cover you.
Can You Give Away Wealth to Get Medicaid Benefits?
Medicaid is one of the only third-party payers for nursing home care because Medicare only pays for skilled nursing care and you have to meet very specific qualifying requirements. Most private insurance policies don’t cover routine nursing home care, called custodial care, and Medicare Advantage or Medigap plans don’t pay either. While you could buy a long-term care insurance policy, the high premium costs and coverage limitations make this an impractical way to get your nursing home care or long-term care expenditures paid.
The problem is, Medicaid is a means-tested program, so if you have too many countable financial resources when you try to get benefits, you will not be able to obtain coverage. Many older people who need nursing home care end up spending a lot of money on the care they require and only after they are impoverished will they be eligible for benefits.
If you need care, you may find yourself unhappy with the idea of having to spend all of your money that you wanted to leave to heirs or beneficiaries. In an effort to protect your wealth, you may want to just give away money and property to your children or other loved ones. This could seem like a viable solution, since if you give away your property or you sell it for a very small sum to your children, you will no longer own it and won’t have to spend it on a nursing home before Medicaid pays for you.
Unfortunately, Medicaid does not allow you to do this. Medicaid wants to prevent people from just giving away their wealth to get around the asset limits on Medicaid eligibility. As a result, Medicaid is a five year lookback rule that applies when you try to get coverage for long-term care. Medicaid will review your transactions and asset transfers during the five years prior to the time when you try to apply for coverage.
If, during that five year period, you gave away assets or made a sale of assets for far lower than the market value, you could find yourself disqualified from getting Medicaid coverage. You could be disqualified for a number of months equal to the value of transferred assets divided by the average cost of a nursing home in your area. If you transferred $5,000 in assets, for example, and the average monthly cost of a nursing home in your geographic area was $5,000, you would be disqualified from getting Medicaid coverage for a one month period.
You don’t want to trigger this disqualification, so you should work with Long Island Medicaid planning lawyers to find a way to protect as much of your wealth as possible in case you need Medicaid coverage.
Getting Help from Long Island Medicaid Planning Lawyers
It is best to make your plans to get Medicaid coverage well before you need to qualify for benefits for nursing home care if it is possible for you to do so. The earlier you act, the more of your assets you can definitely protect. However, Mark S. Eghrari & Associates, PLLC can also handle crisis planning as well, and we will work with you if you need Medicaid coverage imminently.
To find out more about how Long Island Medicaid planning lawyers can help you to get covered, give us a call at (631) 265-0599 or contact us online. You can also join us for a free seminar to learn more about the Medicaid planning process.