Nursing Home Care, In-Home Care, and Medicaid Planning
Nursing Home Care and Medicaid Planning
Quality nursing home care can cost over $15,000 per month and can potentially deplete your family’s life savings in no time unless you make a plan with an experienced elder care law attorney.
Many people ask, “Why should I work with an elder law attorney?” First, it is important to make sure that the Medicaid applicant is eligible for Medicaid. If there are excess resources, transfers during the last five (5) years or a community spouse, planning must be done which usually involves the practice of law. If an application is submitted before troubleshooting all issues, the application could be denied resulting in a large private pay bill due to the nursing home care. For instance, there is a penalty period for transfers made to anyone other than a spouse during the five (5) years prior to applying for nursing home Medicaid. Generally, this means that Medicaid will not pay for a period of time-based on the amount of funds transferred. If transfers were made it is imperative that an elder law attorney be consulted to discuss ways to address the transfers before a penalty period is imposed. There is no penalty for transfers between spouses.
Second, Medicaid planning does not stop with the filing of a Medicaid application. It is important to understand the implications of the planning and to makes sure a holistic approach was taken to preserve all possible assets. This is especially important where there is a spouse or where there is a home. Often, we recommend preparing trusts and revising Wills for the community spouse to complete the planning. Salvatore M. Di Costanzo and the highly experienced elder care attorneys at Plan Today for Tomorrow will help guide and educate you successfully through this process.
Where there is a spouse in the community and not in a nursing home, we can use a planning technique called spousal refusal so that the spouse’s income and resources are not counted towards the institutionalized spouse’s care. With this kind of planning it is very important to work with an elder law attorney to make sure you understand the implications of this strategy and to do estate planning to make sure the planning is as effective as possible.
The best time to plan is when you are healthy and do not anticipate requiring nursing home care services for at least five (5) years, but acknowledge that at some point you may require care.
A Medicaid Trust is one of the most common advance planning techniques but in many cases no planning has been done and care is imminent. It is important to meet with an elder law attorney to discuss the best way to preserve some of your assets. For more information concerning Medicaid Trusts, click here.
In-Home Care and Medicaid Planning
Most people feel more comfortable at home and wish to receive all the care they need at home; however, people worry that they do not have the funds to pay for the care. After all, home health aides can cost as must as $25/hour and privately paying can quickly deplete a family’s savings leaving insufficient funds to run the household.
One option that you can use to preserve your assets and receive home health care services is to have Medicaid pay for your home health aides. The Medicaid home health care application process is very complicated and there are two components to a successful Medicaid in-home care application:
Financial Eligibility – determine that you are financially eligible for Medicaid and if not, what planning can be done to create eligibility. While there is no penalty for transfers, it is important to speak with an elder law attorney regarding your assets.
Medical Eligibility – If you are disabled and require assistance with one or more activity of daily living, you will qualify for Medicaid. What must be determined is how many hours of in-home care you will receive. We will work with you to receive the maximum number of hours you are qualified for.
Financial eligibility for Medicaid home care is just the first step in an increasingly complex process that involves many people from different places including the Department of Social Services, a Managed Long Term Care Company, a Pooled Trust Company and the Home Health Care Agency.
Our firm regularly does Medicaid Planning in Westchester County, Rockland County, Putnam County, Dutchess County, Orange County, New York City (Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Bronx), Nassau County and Suffolk County.
Call us at 914-925-1010 (Rye Office) or 914-245-2440 (Yorktown Heights Office) to schedule a consultation or complete our online form.
“Sal and Jen were extremely helpful as we navigated the confusing labyrinth of social services and the Medicare application process. In all of our interactions with them they were professional, responsive, thorough, and empathetic as we worked to secure care for our father. Without Sal and Jen, the process would have taken much longer, and we may not have been successful in making sure we had the resources to help make our Father's last years as comfortable as possible.”
– Eric T–Medicaid Planning Testimonial