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. Although you generally do not have to sell your home in order to qualify for Medicaid coverage of nursing home care, the state could file a claim against the house after you die. If you get help from Medicaid to pay for the nursing home, the state must attempt to recoup from your estate whatever benefits it paid for your care. Continue Reading

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. Instead of taking steps based on what you’ve heard from others, doing nothing, or enlisting a non-lawyer referred by a nursing home, you can hire an elder law attorney. Here are a few reasons why you should at least consider this option: No conflict of interest. When nursing homes refer Continue Reading

How will possible cuts to Medicaid affect you?

How will possible cuts to Medicaid affect you? It depends on which state you live in as different states have different budgets for Medicaid especially as their coverage of home-based and community-based care for older adults. What experts agree on is that states will compensate additional cuts in services if the proposed Federal cuts pass Congress. Follow our link to read the entire NYT article. Plan on Growing Old? Then the Medicaid Debate Affects You By Ron Lieber | New York Times These are the stories we tell ourselves: I will never be poor. I will never be disabled. My Continue Reading

How Changes to the American Healthcare Act Will Affect Medicaid

Proposed republican changes to the American Healthcare Act would modify changes in the health care system brought by the ACA and would also permanently restructure Medicaid, America’s largest government health care program. Medicaid pays for the long term care costs of 2/3 of nursing home residents, many middle-class Americans who spent all of their savings on care before becoming eligible for Medicaid. The proposed American Health Care Act would try to reduce the federal share of Medicaid spending by limiting how much the federal government would pay for each person enrolled in Medicaid. The results would be major reductions in Continue Reading

Medicaid Covers 1.4 Million People in Nursing Homes

A combination of longer life spans and spiraling health care costs has left an estimated 64 percent of Americans in nursing homes dependent on Medicaid. Medicaid covers 20% of all Americans, 40% of poor adults and most of the 1.4 million people in nursing homes. On June 22,2017, Senate Republicans proposed steep cuts to Medicaid. Under federal law, state Medicaid programs are required to pay for nursing home care but cuts at the federal level could result in states decreasing the amount they are willing to pay or restrict eligibility for coverage. To read the complete NYT article, follow our Continue Reading

Two-thirds of Medicaid spending is dedicated to older or disabled adults

Medicaid is the largest safety net in the United States for low-income people; it accounts for 1/6 of all health care spending in the United States. Two-thirds of Medicaid spending is dedicated to older or disabled adults – this is mostly dedicated to paying for long-term care services like nursing homes. If the cuts to the American Health Care Act proposed by Congress pass in the Senate, it would cut Medicaid by over $800 billion, the largest single reduction in a social insurance program in the history of the United States. For more information about how these proposed Medicaid cuts Continue Reading

The Use of Immediate Annuities in Medicaid Planning for Married Couples

Immediate annuities can be a useful tool to protect the spouse of a nursing home resident who applies for Medicaid. These types of annuities allow the nursing home resident to spend down assets and give the spouse a guaranteed income. But immediate annuities may not work in every state, so be sure to check with your attorney. Medicaid is the primary source of payment for long-term care services in the United States. To qualify for Medicaid, a nursing home resident must become impoverished under Medicaid’s complicated asset rules. In most states, this means the applicant can have only $2,000 in Continue Reading

Part B Premium Will Rise Slightly for Most Medicare Beneficiaries in 2017

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid has announced the Medicare premiums, deductibles, and coinsurances for 2017. After holding steady at $104.90 a month for four years, the standard Medicare Part B premium that most recipients pay will rise 4 percent to about $109 a month.  However, approximately 30 percent of beneficiaries will see their Part B premium rise from $121.80 to $134 a month, a 10 percent increase.  Meanwhile, all beneficiaries will face a higher Part B deductible, which will go from the current $166 to $183 in 2017. The reason for the two different Part B premiums is that Continue Reading

Beware of Non-Lawyers Offering Medicaid Planning Advice

In recent years a number of non-lawyers have started businesses offering Medicaid planning services to seniors. While using one of these services may be cheaper than hiring a lawyer, the overall costs may be far greater. If you use a non-lawyer to do Medicaid planning, the person offering services may not have any legal knowledge or training. Bad advice can lead seniors to purchase products or take actions that won’t help them qualify for Medicaid and may actually make it more difficult. The consequences of taking bad advice can include the denial of benefits, a Medicaid penalty period, or tax Continue Reading

Tightening Medicaid Rules Will Not Increase LTC

New research concludes that while the existence of the Medicaid program is discouraging the purchase of long-term care insurance, tightening up current Medicaid rules will not significantly increase purchases of private insurance. Currently, only about 10 percent of the elderly have private long-term care insurance. One reason for the low percentage, according to some, is the Medicaid "crowd out" effect – that is, the availability of Medicaid to cover long-term care costs is dampening interest in long-term care insurance. How much would a change in Medicaid rules reduce this crowd-out effect? In "Medicaid Crowd-Out of Private Long-Term Care Insurance Demand: Continue Reading