Medicaid lawyers at Nirenstein, Horowitz & Associates can provide you with comprehensive help in understanding the rules for qualifying for Medicaid. You may need Medicaid to pay for your nursing home care and you cannot get Medicaid to cover you if you have too many financial resources and assets since Medicaid is a need-based program. Unfortunately, if you make mistakes in trying to protect your wealth, you could end up causing yourself to become disqualified from Medicaid coverage for a period of time and thus could be left with no option but to pay out of pocket for your costly nursing home care until you are able to get covered.
One common mistake people make is that they believe they can gift their assets to their children and still get Medicaid to cover them. Simply giving away assets could cause you problems with Medicaid eligibility and is something that you should not do. You should talk with an experienced attorney at Nirenstein, Horowitz & Associates to find out what the rules are for gifting assets and to make sure you don’t cost yourself the coverage that you need for long term care or for nursing home care. Our Medicaid lawyers will help you to ensure that you take steps within the bounds of the law to preserve and protect the legacy that you want to leave to your kids without putting any of your Medicaid benefits at risk.
Making a Gift Could Disqualify You from Medicaid Coverage
If you are considering making a gift of your assets to try to qualify for Medicaid coverage, you should be aware of the so-called five-year rule. Under Medicaid’s eligibility guidelines, if you transfer assets, you could be disqualified from being covered for a period of time. The five-year rule gets its name because Medicaid will look back over the transfers you made and the transactions you entered into over the past five years. Medicaid will look back five years from the time that you are trying to get covered.
Within this five year period, if you made a transfer of wealth, gave assets away, or sold assets for less than their fair market value, you will be disqualified from getting Medicaid to cover you. The period of time the disqualification lasts is determined by dividing the value of the transferred assets by the average monthly cost of a nursing home in your area. Whatever this equation yields is the number of months that you would become ineligible for Medicaid. If you transferred $50,000 worth of assets to your children and a nursing home where you lived cost an average of $5,000 per month, you would be disqualified for being covered for 10 months ($50,000 / $5,000).
Many people mistakenly believe that if they make only small gifts, like keeping the value of transferred assets below the $14,000 that will trigger gift tax, they will not end up disqualified from Medicaid coverage. Unfortunately, this is simply wrong. If you have made any transfers within five years of the time that you need Medicaid to pay for your nursing home, you can end up triggering a period of disqualification.
If you need nursing home care during this period of disqualification and cannot get Medicaid to pay for it, you will probably have no option but to pay for it yourself. There are no other sources of coverage for long term care or nursing home care in most situations other than Medicaid. Medicaid pays only for skilled nursing facilities and under only very limited circumstances, and most private insurance also won’t pay for anything other than skilled care for a brief duration. Unfortunately, you could spend a substantial amount of money on a nursing home as you wait for Medicaid eligibility. You don’t want to lose your wealth, so you should work with Medicaid lawyers to find ways that you can legally protect the money and property you want to give to your kids.
Getting Help from Medicaid Lawyers
Medicaid lawyers at Nirenstein, Horowitz & Associates will work closely with you to make plans so you can get covered by Medicaid if you need care, while still being able to provide money and property to your children. We have extensive experience working within the Medicaid rules to help clients to protect their property and we know how important it is for you to keep your wealth safe for the next generation. To learn more about the ways in which our legal team can help you, join us for a free seminar today or give us a call at 860-548-1000 or contact us online to find out more about the assistance that we can offer.