Burlington Medicaid attorneys assist you in understanding the rules associated with qualifying for Medicaid benefits. It is vitally important that you understand these rules because you may come to rely upon Medicaid when you need nursing home care. Medicaid can be the only source of payment for this care, unless you need care for a limited duration and Medicare or some type of private insurance pays or unless you have purchased a comprehensive long-term care insurance policy that covers your situation.
Since most people don’t have a long-term care insurance policy and Medicare and most private insurers won’t pay for the basic routine care that often sends seniors into a nursing home, there is a very real chance that you could require Medicaid if you don’t want to pay out of pocket for nursing home care. This means you should talk with Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC about how you can get benefits and on the types of things that could disqualify you from coverage.
Because Medicaid is a means-tested benefits program and you are allowed only to have limited countable assets if you want to qualify for benefits, one of the biggest things that our Burlington Medicaid attorneys will do is to help you to protect wealth while still getting coverage. Many people who are trying to get Medicaid assume that it will be as easy as giving away their money to their kids and then claiming they are impoverished and can get benefits, but this is definitely not the case. You should not try DIY asset reduction when you are hoping to qualify for Medicaid, as your efforts could actually end up backfiring and could cause you to miss out on getting the benefits that you need.
Can You Give Money to Your Kids to Qualify for Medicaid?
Giving money or other property to your kids could seem like a good idea when trying to qualify for Medicaid, since Medicaid is means-tested with asset limits. You may assume that if your kids own the assets or have the money, that the property will not count as being a resource that belongs to you and thus disqualifies you from Medicaid.
The problem is, Medicaid has a five-year look back period, which means that if you try to apply for benefits, a review of your transactions over the past five years will be conducted. If you have made a transfer of assets to your children or if you have “sold” property to your children for less than the fair market value, these transfers can actually cause you to become disqualified from getting Medicaid coverage for a period of time.
As a result, if you made any big financial gifts or gave your children valuable property within five years of the time that you make an attempt to qualify for long-term care Medicaid, you could face months or years of being disqualified from getting Medicaid to cover you. This is true even if the gift is below the value that would trigger federal gift tax, since Medicaid eligibility rules and federal gift tax are entirely separate. It is a common misconception that you’ll be able to qualify for Medicaid as long as you keep your gifts below the threshold amount.
Getting Help from Burlington Medicaid Attorneys
Burlington Medicaid attorneys at Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC can assist you in taking steps to make sure you can qualify for Medicaid coverage by protecting your assets without facing a disqualification period. We help you to make plans to protect your wealth long before you actually need care so you can keep the maximum value of your assets safe. We can also assist with crisis planning if you need to get Medicaid to cover you right away and you have too much wealth to be able to get benefits immediately.
To learn more about the assistance that we can offer to you in making your Medicaid plan or in affording your nursing home care when you must be admitted into a home, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at (802) 879-7133 or contact us online to get personalized help and advice today.