Okay, so maybe we don’t know everything we’re supposed to know as grown-ups. We know why the sky is blue (wavelengths and all) and we can rattle off those math facts like nobody’s business even if we can’t explain our kid’s (or grandkid’s) math to them.
But some things, like how to pay for long term care while navigating the Medicaid minefield, can still feel pretty tricky. And, this is one of those things that we can’t fake our way through. With the help of an elder law attorney like Scott Collins, the owner of Elder Law Guidance in Richmond, you can easily sidestep the “should-have-known-better-by-now” landmines: For instance, have you heard some of these:
They told me I didn’t qualify. Know that Medicaid, just like Medicare, is a federal program that you’ve already paid into throughout your career in payroll deductions and other taxes. Neither are automatic: Medicare has age qualifications and Medicaid has means based standards that you must reach in order to be eligible. But financial planning can resolve your problem, so don’t believe when someone says, “You don’t qualify.” An elder law attorney has the skills to help you get qualified and save money.
The facility said they’d file my application for free. But is there a catch? Often the application will get the benefits started, but will you still end up losing your home through a Medicaid lien? Somehow that doesn’t sound like free.
They told me I’d have to spend down or I’d lose my house. In order to receive Medicaid, there is a cap on your financial assets. But If you exceed the maximum, is your only alternative to spend down and use all of your money to pay for long-term care before you can receive the benefits? Not at all! Or, you think, “I’ll just start giving money (or my house) to my children so that I can qualify.” If you do, you could end up with huge penalties, still not qualify and get stuck with massive Capital Gains taxes. There’s also a 5-year lookback for gift-giving that will penalize you, so it’s important to plan now so you can keep the farm AND get the care you need paid with the money you’re entitled to.
We at Elder Law Guidance seamlessly handle Medicaid cases like these every day and are here to guide you through the complex process. Call us today at (859) 544-6012 or visit our Medicaid/Medicare and FAQ pages for more information.