Is It Too Late to Start Medicaid Planning After I Am Living in a Nursing Home?

Posted on: Apr 7, 2017

Is It Too Late to Start Medicaid Planning After I Am Living in a Nursing Home?
It is never too late or too early to begin Medicaid Planning. If you are already living in a nursing home, assets may still be protected while obtaining Medicaid Long-Term Care benefits.
Nursing home care is expensive. If you are managing these expenses through insurance or your family wealth, it is time to explore whether you meet the financial eligibility guidelines for Medicaid. Even if you do not believe you have many assets to protect, or you have not yet made plans for Long-Term Care considerations, it is not too late to make a strong plan now. A solid plan utilizing our Smart Spend-DownTM procedures can help you avoid unnecessarily depleting your assets.
Establishing Financial Eligibility for Medicaid
Financial eligibility for Medicaid involves income and resource (asset) tests. Your monthly income, including pensions, VA benefits, or Social Security benefits, must be less than the private pay rate in the nursing facility plus your monthly medical expenses. The income requirement rarely disqualifies a person from benefits eligibility.
Resource eligibility is based on the total amount of resources you own. A single recipient cannot have more than $2,000 in non-exempt resources. Resource eligibility for married recipients is more complex, particularly when the recipient’s spouse will remain living at home. In these cases, eligibility is based on the total amount of resources that both spouses own. As a general rule, married couples cannot have more than $56,726 in non-exempt resources (community spousal resource allowance of $54,726 plus $2,000 for the Medicaid applicant spouse).
Some resources are exempt, which means that they do not count toward the resource eligibility test for Medicaid. Exempt resources include your home (with certain limitations), your personal property, a vehicle, a burial plot or urn space, and life insurance policy valued at $1,500 or less.
If you have more than the allowable amount of non-exempt assets, there are ways to protect those assets while still obtaining Medicaid Long-Term Care benefits. Let us help you explore the Medicaid Asset Preservation StrategyTM that is appropriate for you.
Whether you are already living in a nursing home, or are looking to make arrangements for the eventuality of aging, Elder Law Group PLLC can help you. As skilled asset protection lawyers, we will give you legal advice on the best options available to meet your objectives and protect the assets you have accrued over a lifetime. We invite you to learn more about our team here, and read what our clients have to say about us here.
Elder Law Group PLLC has been recognized as one of the fasted growing law firms in the U.S. as an Annual Law Firm 500 Award honoree. Contact us or call (509) 468-0551 (Spokane office), or (509) 579-0206 (Tri-Cities office), for personal, compassionate guidance on Long-Term Care planning, Asset Protection Estate Planning TM, or other legal needs of seniors, the disabled, or vulnerable adults and their families.