The costs of long-term nursing home care continue to grow in America. For many families in Vermont, their fear is that they will be unable to meet these rising costs. The last thing any of us want to do is realize we’ve not saved enough and then to realize that in order to qualify for Medicaid, we must spend down all of our assets. Smart Medicaid planning can help prevent this from happening.
We at Unsworth Law have helped countless Vermont families prepare for their future through Medicaid planning. Our experienced estate planning lawyers help ensure homes and property are not caught in the “spend down” rules. We can help you do this by establishing an irrevocable trust, and then transferring those assets to the trust. If property has been transferred in a timely manner, the property is protected from the spend-down rule.
For many, the recent changes to the healthcare laws are just an added burden. Already, they’re trying to understand the Medicaid rules and trying to figure out how it comes together is confusing – even for the authors of those new laws. Among all the changes, Vermont is operating a state-based Marketplace, known as Vermont Health Connect. It’s also one of the states that has expanded Medicaid coverage to low-income adults.
Medicaid Planning for “In-Home” Care
In order to qualify for Medicaid’s “in-home” home care coverage, the applicant’s income and resources must not exceed Medicaid guidelines. Choices for Care is a Medicaid-funded, long-term care program designed to pay for care and support for older Vermonters and for those who have physical disabilities. The program assists people with everyday activities at home, or perhaps in an enhanced residential care setting or in a nursing facility.
This support might include assistance with bathing, eating, dressing, moving around, etc. It can also include someone who can complete household chores and ensure medication is taken when it should.
There also exists a second program in Vermont and it’s designed for those who have “moderate needs”: those who need just a bit of assistance in order to stay in their homes. It offers a limited case management scenario, adult day services and even a homemaker service.
Medicaid Planning for Nursing Home Care
When it comes to Medicaid planning for nursing home care, many people have heard of the five year “look-back period”. This look-back period is the block of time that can result in penalties if any assets have been transferred prior to applying for Medicaid coverage. In view of the look-back rules, clients are often concerned that they will not receive any benefit from Medicaid planning. It’s never too late to plan and while the best outcome is achieved when people do their Medicaid planning early, it’s never too late to protect your assets with smart planning. From the complete planning effort to assistance in applying for nursing home admissions, we can help with the necessary paperwork to ensure coverage.
We invite you to contact our team of Medicaid attorneys today to schedule a consultation. You’ll meet with a qualified lawyer who can not only answer all of your questions, but can provide important insight so that you’re in the best position to make the right choices for Medicaid coverage.