Is there a way to protect your assets and qualify for Medicaid? - AgingCare.com

Is there a way to protect your assets and qualify for Medicaid?

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You'd have to see an estate attorney or elder attorney who knows Medicaid laws. Be very careful of an attorney who makes the picture too rosy. Medicaid is for people who don't have the money to pay for care. It's that simple. If your parents have the money, they pay.
Long-term care insurance, if gotten ahead, can help a lot here, since now they let the family keep the amount of assets the LTC insurance paid out. Say they had $50,000 LTC insurance. I believe - and laws change and states vary - but I believe that you would be able to keep $50,000 in assets. Again, an attorney is the one to help you. There are annuities, etc. Some can be good, others are very bad. Be careful and check the attorney's credentials.
Carol
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CAT:

Lucky for me, the Medicaid laws in NY seem to be more forgiving than everywhere else in the country. Carol gave you some wonderful tips, but you should also contact the Medicaid/Medicare offices in your state to see of they have any free trainings to help you navigate the local system(s), qualify, and keep what you already have. Wish you the best.

-- ED
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I agree with MindingOurElders about finding a good attorney who specializes in elder law. I went through Medicaid planning with my mother. It is important to abide by the law if your goal is asset protection. Expect to have a long waiting period to qualify for Medicaid and expect to pay out of pocket for cost of care during that period. The laws are always changing so please, contact an attorney. You can find a good one in your area by searching at The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys http://www.naela.org/
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I was able to find an elder law attorney through my local Alzheimer's Association.
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Debbie031359 :

In a word...yes.
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Medicaid is a federal program for low-income, financially needy people of all ages, not just the elderly. It was never meant for the elderly that have substantial assets and monthly income. Medicare is for all seniors to help offset medical costs. The federal government is not an agency that pays for seniors who need nursing home or assisted living care who have the assets and income for this type of care. Future inhertitence of these assets should not be a prelude to having the government absorb the cost of their care first.
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The 14,000 "gift" just means that you don't have to pay taxes on it. It will still be taken into consideration if that person ever has to apply for Medicaid and those "gifts" were within the 5 year look-back.
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Texashair, it would be best to consult an Elder Law Attorney with that question as it is complex, plus each State has their own rules and regulations regarding Medicaid.
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Question: Please help! My mom has alzheimers, lives with me in my home, sold her home 7 yrs ago. Her assets righ now included about $7,000 in cash in savings & checking ( with my name also being on both checking and savings accounts.). She has a $5,000 PERMANENT LIFE POLICY, along with $2,500 WHOLE LIFE, and a $15,000 UNIVERSAL LIFE which we just the UNIVERSAL policy in November 2012 from a $50,000 policy. I took out a total of $35,000 from the $50,000 policy to pay off her addition we put on my home in 2005 ($10,000) gifted, $10,000 to her grandkids and put $15,000 in her savings account. We just applied for medicaid as she now needs to be in a nursing home real soon. I was told to start to spend down, but I want her in a local nursing home near where we live. 1: Do I pre pay her funeral with the cash, or use the insurance policys for the funeral palor to hold? If I use the insurance policies, do I use the UNIVERSAL once for $15,000? and if the funeral only cost $10,000 do I get the balance of teh policy? OR.... Do I place her in the nursing home of my choice, cashing in the $15k Universal policy and her cash which may cove 1-2 months till medicaid kicks in when all her money is gone? OR..... do I use the 2 smaller policy's of $5,000 and $2,500 to pre pay the funeral? I am so confused??? Can the nursing home take the $15,000 Universal Policy?
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Thanks Brenda. You have now set me clear on this.
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