News

Medicaid and Gift-Giving Can Be Risky

Mabel’s children were concerned that Mabel would need long-term nursing-home care in the near future. It was the holidays, and Mabel always got a lot of joy out of generosity. But her children had heard that people in Mabel’s circumstances should not

How Can My Parents Protect Their Savings When They Apply for Medicaid?

When they were working, my parents saved $50,000 for any major health expense they might have. Currently they live with me and only receive Social Security, which is not enough for them to live on their own. I would like to apply for Medicaid on thei

Are Payments to Third Parties Subject to the Five-Year Look-Back Period When Applying for Medicaid?

Are payments to third parties subject to Medicaid’s five-year look-back rule? If I purchase item(s) for my child, but make the check out to a third party (i.e., check paid to retailer for appliances, to firm for landscaping services, to roofing company for new roof, etc.), are these also subject to the five-year rule, even if the check is not payable to my child?

Medicaid Planning in the Guardianship Context

As elder law attorneys we advise our clients to execute durable powers of attorney in order to ensure that someone they trust is authorized to manage their property in the event that they no longer have the capacity to do so. In the absence of a durable power of attorney, or if the instrument does not provide sufficient powers and direction to an agent, it may be necessary to apply to the court to appoint a guardian or conservator. This process has many disadvantages, such as expense, delay, and loss of privacy.

Will Small Gifts Really Disqualify My Mother from Medicaid?

Someone told my mom to stop giving monetary gifts to her family -- even for very small amounts. She wants to be able to give her grandchildren between $25 to $50 for holidays and special events like weddings or graduations. Will amounts that small really disqualify her from Medicaid or cause her to be penalized? What if she buys gift cards or tangible gifts? Will Medicaid really penalize for this as well?

Can a Bank Charge for Documents Needed for a Medicaid Application?

Question: Can the bank charge me for documents that are required for my elderly mom to qualify for Medicaid benefits?

Tens of thousands of Medicaid recipients don't pay their premiums

When Arkansas lawmakers debated whether to renew the state's Medicaid expansion in 2016, many Republican lawmakers were swayed only if some of the 300,000 adults who gained coverage would have to start paying premiums.

Three Reasons Why Giving Your House to Your Children Isn't the Best Way to Protect It From Medicaid

You may be afraid of losing your home if you have to enter a nursing home and apply for Medicaid. While this fear is well-founded, transferring the home to your children is usually not the best way to protect it.

Medicaid's Gift to Children Who Help Parents Postpone Nursing Home Care

In most states, transferring your house to your children (or someone else) may lead to a Medicaid penalty period, which would make you ineligible for Medicaid for a period of time. However, there are circumstances in which transferring a house will not result in a penalty period.

Several States Roll Back 'Retroactive Medicaid,' A Buffer For The Poor

If you're poor, uninsured and have a bad car wreck or fall seriously ill, there's a chance in most states to enroll for Medicaid after the fact. If you qualify for Medicaid, the program will pay your medical bills going back three months.

For Better or for Worse, States Are Turning to Managed Care for Medicaid Long-Term Care

More and more states are switching to a managed care model when dealing with Medicaid long-term care patients, a change that has resulted in a loss of services in some cases.

The Attorney's Role in Medicaid Planning

Do you need an attorney for even "simple" Medicaid planning? This depends on your situation, but in most cases, the prudent answer would be "yes."

What happens if a Medicaid recipient in a nursing home marries a healthy bride?

What happens if a Medicaid recipient in a nursing home marries a healthy bride? Is the new spouse entitled to any of the nursing home resident's Social Security or pension during his life or can she receive it as a surviving spouse?

Why You Should Use a Lawyer for Medicaid Planning

Many seniors and their families don't use a lawyer to plan for long-term care or Medicaid, often because they're afraid of the cost. But an attorney can help you save money in the long run as well as make sure you are getting the best care for your loved one.

The Current State of the Affordable Care Act

The Republican Party appears to be sending differing signals following the collapse of Senate GOP efforts to overhaul the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the healthcare law better known as Obamacare. Although defeated, there is consensus within the party and even in Democratic camps, that there are numerous problems with the ACA. In a series of tweets, President Donald Trump has, in recent days, ramped up calls for the Senate to vote on healthcare before considering any other legislation. The latest rumblings seem to indicate that there is a possibility the Administration will consider eliminating the insurer subsidies provided under the ACA thereby resulting in staggering increases in average health insurance premiums of at least 20%.

Annuities and Medicaid Planning

Immediate annuities can be ideal Medicaid planning tools for spouses of nursing home residents. For single individuals, they are usually less useful. An immediate annuity, in its simplest form, is a contract with an insurance company under which the consumer pays a certain amount of money to the company and the company sends the consumer a monthly check for the rest of his or her life.

Using a Prepaid Funeral Contract to Spend Down Assets for Medicaid

No one wants to think about his or her death, but a little preparation in the form of a prepaid funeral contract can be useful. In addition to helping your family after your death, a prepaid funeral contract can be a good way to spend down assets in order to qualify for Medicaid.

How the Medicaid Debate Affects Long-Term Care Insurance Decisions

The latest version of the Senate’s health insurance bill appeared on Thursday, and it didn’t do much to change the drastic reductions in Medicaid spending that were in the original legislation.Here’s why that’s important to nearly everyone, even people who are reasonably affluent for now: As I’ve explained in two recent columns, Medicaid is the backstop for retirees who run out of money but still need home-based care or must move into a nursing home. Medicare generally doesn’t cover those costs, and they are high enough that even people with many hundreds of thousands of dollars can end up spending everything they have the years before they die.

Medicaid's Gift to Children Who Help Parents Postpone Nursing Home Care

In most states, transferring your house to your children (or someone else) may lead to a Medicaid penalty period, which would make you ineligible for Medicaid for a period of time. However, there are circumstances in which transferring a house will not result in a penalty period.

The Need for Medicaid Planning

One of the greatest fears of older Americans is that they may end up in a nursing home. This not only means a great loss of personal autonomy, but also a tremendous financial price. Depending on location and level of care, nursing homes cost between $40,000 and $180,000 a year.