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Russell C. Golowin, J.D., LL.M.
1820 Northwest Boulevard, Suite 100
Columbus, Ohio 43212

 Tel: (614) 487-8887
Fax: (614) 486-8883
russ@golowinlegal.com

 

 


Medicaid Planning

The Rules Have Changed!

On February 8, 2006, the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 was enacted, which significantly changes the Medicaid qualification rules.  Don't rely on rumors, make sure you are prepared by speaking with an attorney familiar with these important changes!

1

Myth :
Medicaid can take your home for reimbursement.
Fact:
They cannot take your home, nor do they want to unless you are single and have more than $500,000 of equity.

If you are married, and either you or your spouse need to go into a nursing home, your home is exempt from Medicaid’s calculation of what your contribution to the cost of care should be.

If you are single (unmarried or widowed) and you go into a nursing home, your house may be exempt if you follow certain procedures. Married people must be careful, however. If one spouse dies, the home may become available to Medicaid if you have not made adequate plans prior to that.

2

Myth :
To protect your assets, you must give them away.
Fact:
You don’t have to give away your assets to protect them.

Medicaid law provides specific rules for determining the amount (if any) you may be asked to contribute to the cost of nursing home care for your spouse. While it may be necessary to legally protect some portion of your assets, there is usually no reason to give them away. Through the use of specially designed trusts, Golowin Legal, LLC can help you retain control over your assets, now and in the future, without them being at risk to Medicaid.

3

Myth :
If you give your assets away, you must wait 36 (or 60) months to qualify for Medicaid
Fact:
There is no such rule.  Qualification is determined on a case-by-case basis, and you can qualify sooner than 36 or 60 months.

This is a common misunderstanding. The 60 month figure simply refers to the number of months prior to entrance in a nursing home that Medicaid can examine your financial records.

This figure has nothing to do with determining your qualification for Medicaid. It is what financial activity Medicaid sees in this 60 month period of time that determines whether you will qualify. If you make the proper planning decisions, you may qualify immediately even if you made uncompensated transfers that might otherwise make you ineligible for Medicaid.

Rule of thumb: Never apply for Medicaid until you are certain you qualify. Otherwise, you may have to wait longer than thirty-six months. Contact me today for complete information.

Plan Ahead!

Did you know that around 50% of people who are 65 years of age or older will spend some part of their lives needing physical and/or custodial care?  This is important because long-term care is expensive (usually over $60,000 per year), and can exhaust a family's entire life savings within a short period of time.  Planning ahead is very important.

It is extremely unlikely that your current will or trust is enough to provide for you and your family in this situation.  Unfortunately, a "basic" will or even complicated trusts that were created to save estate tax are not enough to provide for you in this situation.  If you are concerned with your exposure to nursing home costs, contact me today for a free consultation.  Don't worry about whether you'll be able to pass your legacy on to your loved ones.

If You Are Facing A Crisis

Without pre-planning, many individuals end up in the unfortunate position where they have already entered (or are about to enter) a nursing home, but are told that they have too much money to qualify for Medicaid.  These people are facing a "crisis", because the family is now faced with long-term health care costs that range from $5,000 to $10,000 per month that they had not planned for.  This can deplete the life savings of almost any family very quickly.

If you are facing a Medicaid "crisis", don't listen to the rumors and myths.  Rather than deciding nothing can be done, contact Golowin Legal today. 

Don't Apply Yet!

Never file a Medicaid application until you are sure that the Medicaid applicant qualifies!  Once you apply for Medicaid, many of the planning opportunities are lost.

By contacting Golowin Legal before you complete a Medicaid application, you will know the exact date that the application should be filed, and the amount of money you can save.  Don't forefiet your right to plan by submitting an application too soon!  Call today for a free confidential interview.

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© 2006 Golowin Legal, LLC.  All rights reserved.

This information is designed to provide a general overview with regard to the subject matter covered and is not intended to provide legal, accounting, or specific advice to your situation. No legal representation or attorney/client relationship is created solely by use of this site.