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Medicaid Planning

Medicaid Planning & Medicaid Advocacy

There are two main types of Medicaid: Community Medicaid and Institutional Medicaid.
Community Medicaid is when an individual wants to remain at home while receiving medical assistance in the form of health care aides. Institutional Medicaid is when an individual cannot stay home and needs to reside in a nursing home.

At the Law Office of Donna Furey, we assist clients with getting their assets in order so they may qualify for Medicaid assistance in the home or a nursing home. With proper Medicaid planning, a person can qualify for Medicaid benefits to cover the costs of long-term care needs without having to “give everything up.” With the average cost for nursing home care exceeding $150,000 per year, it is crucial to have a plan in place. Whether you are seeking Community Medicaid or Community Medicaid, a penalty may be imposed for the transfer of assets during the relevant “look-back period.” Therefore, it is important to contact an attorney sooner to avoid paying any additional expenses or penalties.

Free Application Services

Yes, the nursing home provides application assistance at no charge. In addition, in the majority of cases, there is no risk in using these services if you’ve checked it out with an attorney ahead of time. However, there is a great risk in using the nursing home’s services without first consulting an elder law attorney. We have seen countless examples of incomplete or improper advice leading to significant lost planning opportunities for clients, no matter how well-intentioned the advice giver may be. Rectifying the situation may cost more in legal fees than would have been the case with a proper plan.

In any event, the nursing home and the resident’s family often have conflicting interests since their private-pay rates are typically $2,000 a month more than they receive in Medicaid reimbursement. In other words, every month that a resident pays privately rather than receives Medicaid coverage is additional money going to the nursing home and less preserved for the resident’s spouse and family.

In addition, to the extent that the application raises legal issues, it makes sense to have an elder law attorney prepare the application. This would be the case, for instance, if a trust were involved or if you were seeking an exception to the usual penalties for transferring assets.

Medicaid as Welfare

Medicaid serves a number of different populations, including poor recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and disabled people receiving Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). No one would argue that when Medicaid was created it was meant to be the main system of paying for long-term care for older Americans. But in the absence of any other program to fill that need, Medicaid has become the nation’s long-term care financing system by default. Medicaid planning permits nursing home residents to be covered by the program under its rules. Congress can change the rules, and often does. 

Consulting with an attorney permits seniors and their families to understand the rules as they are and the options available to them. It does not require them to take any particular steps. It can be vital to preserving the financial security of a healthy spouse continuing to live at home.