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Preserving Assets While Applying for Medicaid

Thursday, 29 November 2018 00:00

Couple2There is a misconception that one should plan on applying for Medicaid only after all the money has been spent on care.Most nursing facilities aren’t going to go out of their way to tell you all of the ways you can actively plan to preserve assets while applying for Medicaid.But there are a number of planning techniques to preserve assets for the family while ensuring that Medicaid will pay for nursing home care.There is another, related misconception that nothing can be done if you didn’t plan for more than five years prior to your need for long-term care.

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Medicaid Applications: Pitfalls to Avoid

Monday, 17 September 2018 09:18

billsFor many families, placing a loved one in a nursing home is a traumatic and unwelcomed event.  In so many cases, the adult children of elderly parents are signing admission agreements to nursing homes that have a personal guarantee of payment – that if the nursing home doesn’t get paid, the adult child will be personally responsible.  But these individuals are told, “Don’t worry, Medicaid will pay once the money runs out.”  

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Your Elder Years Strategy

Wednesday, 26 April 2017 12:06

 

couple with boatI recently saw two advertisements from companies trying to help people “stop Medicaid from taking your retirement.”  The ads paint a frightening picture and offer advice on how to avoid trouble. Typically, when you read between the lines of these advertisements, you see they’re usually advising you to take one or two strategies: develop some kind of trust, or invest in some kind of financial product. I’m not suggesting that these are bad ideas or that the people sending you these advertisements are bad people. I do suggest that the concern for long-term care is not about buying a product. It’s about establishing a strategy for how you wish to age.

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New Rules and Bad Decisions Make Medicaid Planning a Necessity

Monday, 15 February 2016 00:00

coupleIf you or a loved one are elderly and might need long term care in the near future, 2015 was a year to forget. The Ohio Supreme Court decided two cases that set back long term care planning for Ohio’s middle class elderly population and presented new obstacles to protecting one’s retirement and/or home.   These two cases were Atkinson and Koenig.

In Atkinson, the Ohio Supreme Court decided that if a couple’s home is in their revocable trust at the time one spouse enters a long-term care facility, the house is not an exempt asset and is countable when determining financial eligibility. In Koenig, the Ohio Supreme Court decided that after one spouse enters a long-term care facility, an annuity cannot be purchased for the community spouse to convert what would otherwise be deemed a “resource” into a stream of income, thus achieving Medicaid eligibility.  

In addition to these court cases, the Ohio Department of Medicaid changed the rules that allowed individuals to mitigate the impact of an “improper transfer” by prohibiting partial return of gifts. This means that the entire gift must be returned to the Medicaid applicant, otherwise a penalty period will be imposed on the entire amount of the resources that were initially gifted.

All of these changes have resulted in severely limited planning options for individuals who require immediate eligibility for long term care. In turn, proactive planning (well before a nursing home stay) is of greater importance than ever.

Here are three quick examples that demonstrate how proactive planning could save you or your loved ones tens of thousands of dollars, or even your home:

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