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Father has entered SNH. Has enough assets to private pay for about 1 year. My question is this. Should I split parents money, mostly CDs into 2 separate accounts for the spend down period. I would use father's account to spend on SNH and medical expenses. Keep Mom's accounts separate. Keep the joint checking account to pay for house and regular living expenses. Dad's income is around $2100/month. Mom's is around $1200.
Any Medicaid financial help links?

Medicaid laws differ from state to state, but the constant is that they are ruthless and unyielding.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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Mark, I know it seems so simple, but remember you are dealing with a government entity and nothing is simple when you have to deal with them.

Igloo is the AC guru for Medicaid, absolutely follow the recommendations because it will get your mom the most money possible and ensure that dad is approved.

Do you know what your states Medicaid cap for income is? My dad made 14.00 a month to much and that meant we needed to do a qualified income trust aka miller trust. So it can get complicated and take time to get all set up.

Please interview all the attorneys in your area that will give you a free consultation, this will help you pick the one that meets the needs for the best price available.

We used a certified elder law attorney and he was cheaper than an estate and tax attorney because that is what he does every day.

Best of luck and please let us know how you handle it. We learn from one another and your experience can help others. Thanx.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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igloo572 Jul 19, 2019
Isthis - omg your dad was $14 over Medicaid income limit.
$14, that’s less than cost of suitcase of beer or 2 bottles of Costco Prosecco. Yet too much income to be LTC Medicaid eligible.

well thank goodness he was in a state that allows for Miller Trusts to be done..... I shudder to imagine if not.
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Mark, please please do NOT try this as a DIY project. Really don’t!!
Threading out what can or cannot be your mom’s asset & income for her to have as a CS aka Community Spouse is not at all simple. It is not a 50/50 split. The regulations for what is “income” for her & what her “asset” limits are depends on just how your state does Medicaid. There is no 1 single path.

CS situations, especially if she is a Younger spouse or healthy older spouse, can & should be set up differently than for a CS that is like months away from herself needing to go into a NH.

Actually moving their $ now to shelter what was jointly held assets into just her name could pose gifting transfer inquiry issues for his Medicaid application. If you don’t know just how to answer correctly any ? state asks of dad or mom within days of state correspondence to them, there could be penalty placed on dads application. Transfer penalty stuff is not for the newbie to wade thru.

Your parents have $ & enough apparently for him to 100% private pay for a yr or so. They have the $ to pay for an atty. a NAELA or CELA level of elder law attorney would be my suggestion for you to find. This site has a link at the bottom on the page for attorneys. Their website will list if the firm is NAELA or CELA.

Its little things that morph into a total butt rash. Like couples are allowed only 1 car as an exempt asset. If there’s 2 Medicaid denied. Most couples have a car each. But what to do that’s best is very interdependent on what mom’s probable future is.... like it may be better to get rid of both and she buys a new car and then the atty files for exemption to attached some of dads income that normally would be required to be his copay to the NH to instead be “waived” to go to her as she has that car note ATOP her regular living costs. At her $1200 a mo income, she may be viewed as having plenty of $ for her community living costs & needs zero extra.....unless she can show monthly expenses beyond what $1200 would cover. But getting this isn’t simple. Atty will know what is needed to increase her CSRA or MMNA above $1200. Community Spouse Resource Allowance, Monthly Maintenance Needs Assessment- think of it as kinda like old school alimony for mom. But doing it and doing it correctly not a DiY.

Also your dad at $2100 a mo, is kinda at the edge for max income. It really depends on the income max allowed by your state and before anything taken from it. Some states are under 2k for income limit. It’s something to clearly go over with atty about & way before he’s out of $.

If they are like most couples, they have each other as their life insurance beneficiary or worse have their Estate as beneficiary. If mom gets hit by a bus and predeceases dad, it totally clusterF his Medicaid eligibility.... as he now inherited $ via life insurance. These are just some examples of how stuff can go amiss. Really CS / NH situation not a DIY. Get an experienced attorney and try to do all this started over this summer.
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Reply to igloo572
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You don’t necessarily have to split the assets in half. Depending on your state Medicaid rules, your mom as community spouse may be able to keep more than half.
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Reply to worriedinCali
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I wouldn’t risk it if your father might need Medicaid after privately paying the first year. Your mom is the community spouse so the state will take care of splitting their assets so that she’ll be taken care of if needed.
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worriedinCali Jul 17, 2019
The state doesn’t actually split the assets. The OP wants to split them so his fathers half can be spent down in order to qualify for Medicaid.
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all they have is joint checking and CD's.
was just going to divide the CD's when they come due into 2 separate checking accounts.
then use my father's account to pay the nursing home and his medical bills.
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Reply to markevans999
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igloo572 Jul 17, 2019
Mark, what is likely to happen is once dad clears Medicaid paperwork & viewed as eligible, Medicaid will require your mom to open an account in her name for her own monthly income. If her assets are liquid, they go into this account as well.
If she has CD or their joint but bank will allow moved to just her name, they might be able to stay as a CD for her asset. If the CDs are old, she might want to do this as they actually pay decent interest.

My mom was a widow and had CDs & Tbills. Once she went into IL, she closed them out as they set to renew and into her checking account. It was beyond hard to see stuff paying high interest rates being cashed out. See if bank will roll over to just her name later on if needed before they close them out.
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Please get legal advice. Your mom will need part of his income to survive and that takes knowing all the loops.

www.nelf.org can help you find a certified elder law attorney that will be able to help you understand what you can or should do to ensure your moms quality of life.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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I can't imagine how anyone could figure this out on his own. A mistake could be more expensive in the long run than hiring an elder law attorney. This is one for the experts.
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Reply to TXGirl82
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Attempting to plan for Medicaid eligibility gets very complicated very fast. I suggest talking to an elder law attorney about this.
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Reply to Rosered6
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I’m not certain that at this point, splitting their assets into separate account would work. I believe that Medicaid would consider both their incomes as total assets.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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igloo572 Jul 17, 2019
Yeah totally. And for more fun, doing this now looks like they moved joint assets into another’s name. Even if it was into mom’s name, it still moving assets ahead of application. Medicaid & the NH - if the NH does an initial review of the required by the state documentation - is gonna see $ with a comma in it moved out of their account. Huge red flag for a deep dive into their financials for Medicaid to ask about. NH probably won’t take him as Medicaid Pending as they know likely transfer penalty inquiry to happen and throws more time onto his being approved.

If that happens, it means he has to stay private pay till approved. And mark & mom will have to find $ to private pay till his Medicaid clears the application.

Btw for “income”, only his monthly income counts for his eligibility and for his copay to the NH. Her income not a factor for his eligibility. But their assets are considered joint. Problem arises IF she doesn’t spend all her income and it then flows over to become an asset. Medicaid has a ceiling on the CS asset limit. If she puts the max assets into it (most states are 120k) to start with and doesn’t pay attention, she could find herself over the allowed limit. She’s gonna have to submit her financials for his renewals. It'll show up.... If CS has real income & assets, they have to pay attention not to go over the limit.
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