How do we keep from losing our life savings to Medicaid? - AgingCare.com

How do we keep from losing our life savings to Medicaid?

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Gm recently canceled our Long Term Care Insurance that we paid into for 27 years.How do we keep from losing our life savings to Medicaid?

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This is horrible. You paid all of those years in good faith. There should be a way to keep paying the premium. I agree that, since bail out funds were used, you should contact your Congressional delegates and see if there is some help.

Carol
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the two questions are separate.

1. If GM means "general motors" - then you need to call your benefits administrator - or you can start with general info from your state dept. of insurance / state dept. of corporations. Alternately, you can talk to an independant insurance agent, and may get some insight that way.

2. "losing your savings to medicaid" is what happens when you apply for medi-caid and medicaid pays for services. Start with your local area council on aging to get infomation on medicaid, which is separate from medicare. Talk to an expert volunteer before going to any kind of attorney. I do not know about Nevada, but most states have gotten very tough on lookback periods - but that hasn't stopped some people from advertising that you can protect your savings from medicaid. Remain sceptical - and hopefully armed with information you can take a look at your situation and decide at that point what to do.

I feel for you - I cannot imagine what it would be like to be going through what you must be experiencing. Just remember to take a deep breath and keep good notes while you are doing your fact finding. Never trust anyone to do your own paper work and always keep extra copies.
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Strongly advise you make your Congressional Rep and your Senators aware of this development. Remind them that NONE of the bailout money that went to GM before they went bankrupt was earmarked to pick up health care and LTC benefits that salaried retirees had contributed to and should continue to receive despite the bankruptcy. Afterall, the billions in TAXPAYER MONEY that went to GM could have been used to transfer lost coverage to Medicare since it was already in force.
BTW-Please forgive my soapbox speeches in your time of need. My father was a member of the United Autoworkers Union for 45 years. He passed away about before the current financial mess and thanks to Medicare and Union Health Care benefits was able to preserve the modest estate he had worked his entire life to build. Do not fall for any "private" solutions to your problems. Most are designed to profit at your expense and hit you when you are already down. You might also contact an Eldercare Lawyer who might consider sponsoring a Class Action suit against the "long term care provider" claiming there was no way you could continue paying the premium on your own. Sounds like they are bailing out on you and 33000 other salaried retirees. There may be laws preventing them from doing so but they will never tell you that--especially when you are down and out.
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Reminder: contact your state dept. of insurance and state dept. of corporations by phone and in writing. file a grievance, they can give you facts and recourse. It is horrible, but there have been past cases of other companies doing this -

if you are feeling up to it, contact your local news and see if you can interest them in doing a story about what happened - give them your story & the # of employees affected by this.

If you are going to contact your legislators, there is a process - unless you are very lucky you will talk to aides - make them your friends. Hand write a letter, with a photo of you & family printed on the same page (make it small) and hand deliver it. At that time ask for an appointment and state your case to the aide in less than 2 minutes (practice with a timer). Keep going back to meetings - and go to your local city council and state for the record that you have an issue / ask for your council to also contact legislators on behalf of their constituents.

All of this takes time and energy - but with high enough personal stakes, like losing LTC insurance, I hope you do not give up.
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Who died? mom or dad? i'm confused….it's dad, right?

If your dad was private pay or LTC insurance paid for his NH stay for the past 3 years,& died then Medicaid was not involved.

If - as you described - he owned (like it was in his name in the tax rolls) 3 properties in addition to his homestead, he likely would not have been eligible for Medicaid anyways. Now the issue will be that IF in the future your mom needs care and applies for Medicaid, then all her assets will have to be spent down. The trust may be viewed as done for Medicaid avoidance. She won't be eligible for Medicaid. really if they have assets even if they need to cash in or change beneficiary, it has to be done or family will need to private pay. Medicaid is needs based program, so they have to be impoverished or plan for this at least 5 years before.

I'd find good legal to discuss all this with. Gather all their old legal, the new trusts and the tax assessor statements on the properties and see an attorney, Did whomever did the trusts is also an elder law guy in addition to doing estates? If so, go to see him, but if not, ask them for a referral. Trusts are sticky for Medicaid and irrevocable ones especially. Good luck.
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Look into getting a pooled disability trust. If you have a disability determination, you send any excess funds you currently have now. then whatever Medicaid would determine is your spend down, you send that amount to the trust monthly and it reduces your spend down to 0. Then each month, you send the trust your bills, receipts, rent, etc and they pay out of your money. It's a legal way to protect your money from Medicaid. I'm in new York and we use center for disability rights. Every state has a similar program.
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Mae - Medicare NO, mom has & is paying into Medicare over her working years and now by Medicare taking $ (usually $ 105) each mo from her SS check.

BUT for Medicaid, YES - the state is required to attempt a recoup of all costs paid by Medicaid from any assets of your mom's estate. Her home - which she usually can keep as an exempt asset under medicaid - goes from an exempt asset to an non-exempt asset of her estate once she dies. All of this is done as part of MERP - Medicaid Estate Recovery Program.

Just how MERP works will be very interdependent on your states property & probate laws; states administrative code for how exemptions and exclusion to MERP are handled. It is up to family / heirs to figure out and document whatever is needed to offset, reduce, etc any MERP claim or lein on the property and do so in whatever system MERP, probate, etc run for your state.

If its looking like mom will need to apply for Medicaid, please please schedule an appt with an elder law atty to figure out what can or cannot be done regarding her assets.

Also please keep in mind that IF mom needs to go into a NH and onto Medicaid to pay for the NH, she is required to do a co-pay (called the SOC share of cost) of all her monthly income less a smallish personal needs allowance. The PNA range by state from $ 35 - 105, really its just maybe enough for beauty shoppe & some clothing & toiletries. All costs on mom's house will need to be assumed by family and done from Day 1 of Medicaid till she dies and you go through estate settlement and deal with MERP. Mom could live another 5 months or 5 years….and probate could run a year or more….all the while someone has to be paying all costs on the house. Most families end up placing the home on the market around the 6 month at a NH point as nobody wants to deal or pay for it without knowing they will likely to be the owner at some undetermined point in the future. If it gets sold, then mom becomes ineligible for Medicaid but mom can spend-down the $ to buy a funeral & burial policy, get new hearing aids, eyeglasses; perhaps get expensive dental done. She will have to private pay for the NH too. It's a lot to mull over & really an elder law atty can be invaluable to go over what options maybe could happen. BTW one of the experts on this site Gabriel Heiser has just made available an e-book on all this, just google Medicaid Secrets. It's very straightforward to read to understand an overview of what all this is about. Good luck, dear.
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EZCARE,
I attempted to generate some interest in a class action against the LTC provider but no one was interested.Perhaps contacting an Eldercare Lawyer is a good suggestion.
I had not thought of the bailout money.
Thank you for the advice.
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My husband and I are both in poor health and unable to work. He is awaiting a disability appeal hearing. Right now we have no income at all and no health insurance. My father passed away in April leaving me some money which we have been living on. By law we now have to get health insurance.If we apply for medicaid will they take what is left of my inheritance?
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Anybody know about insurance through Medicaid vs. nursing home care? This sounds like a new issue - does MERP come into this?
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