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Medicaid Planning

Do I Need to Sell My Home to Be Medicaid Eligible?

Medicaid eligibility requirements are stringent in regards to assets and income. As an experienced Florida Medicaid planning attorney, one of the most frequent questions I hear is if clients need to sell their home to qualify for Medicaid benefits. Do I Need to Sell My Home To Qualify for Medicaid Benefits? The question is not a difficult one, but it also does not have a straightforward answer. There are multiple answers, depending on your situation. When your home is your primary residence, it is a non-countable asset as long as certain conditions are met. The amount of equity in the home...

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Medicaid Planning: What is a Personal Services Contract?

Many people turn to Medicaid benefits to protect their family and their estate from the high costs of long term care. Individuals applying for Medicaid benefits must be careful to avoid common mishaps that can result in disqualification. One common issue comes when applicants are paying a family member to provide needed services. Medicaid will treat this payment as a transfer for "less than fair market value," which can cause an asset transfer penalty. Medicaid is working under the assumption that family members providing care do so for free, so any payment made is classified as a gift. When determining eligibility...

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What to Do When You Have Been Denied Medicaid Coverage

Have you been denied Medicaid benefits? Whether you were denied Medicaid coverage for in-home care or nursing home care, the need for services continues whether your application is denied or not. And a denied Medicaid application does not mean the individual in need of care or their loved ones have more money to cover the costs of long-term care. If you feel you are at the end of the line and you are out of options, do not lose hope. There are still options available for you and your family to pursue to become Medicaid eligible. If you have received a...

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Beware These Common Medicaid Eligibility Mistakes

Medicaid planning hinges on a plan to ensure you can qualify for Medicaid benefits for long-term care in your elder years. The costs associated with long-term care average more than $100,000 per year; especially if accessing a nursing home with specialized care (i.e., dementia, Alzheimer’s, etc.) With a solid plan in effect, Americans facing long-term care needs quickly spend down money it took a lifetime to save. Turn to Medicaid planning to assist you in qualifying for Medicaid benefits to cover the high costs of nursing home care without obliterating your savings or your estate. Avoid Common Medicaid Eligibility Mistakes: ...

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How to Use a Trust in Medicaid Planning

Effective Medicaid planning can allow individuals and families to preserve some of their estates for descendants while also fulfilling the Medicaid asset limitation requirements. Some use “gifts” in their Medicaid planning, but this leaves the potential for loss. When assets are transferred to another individual, you no longer control them. Most feel that an irrevocable trust is a safer approach. The trust is a legal entity with the “trustee” holding legal title to property in the trust for the benefit of the “beneficiaries.” Trustees are required to follow the rules of the trust. Whether or not the trust assets are...

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How to Legally Protect Your Assets from the Costs of Long Term Care

Some older adults do not know and fully understand their options and their rights for long-term care (LTC), which is regularly defined as “ruinously expensive.” Those are the exact words that the New York State Court of Appeals used to describe the long-term care scenario in the United States. Many older Americans actively refuse to face the issue. Others rely on faith that they will not need long-term care as they age. Since the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services indicates that anyone turning 65 today has an almost 70% chance of needing long-term care services of some type...

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It’s Not Too Late to Implement an Elder Law Strategy

We've all heard the old saying, "Better late than never." We've also all seen life prove this particular old saying right – over and over. It's no less true when it comes to elder law planning. If you've been putting off your elder law planning because you fear it may be too late – don't waste another day. Planning late is better than never planning at all, but there's no time like the present. Be proactive. People who do no elder law planning at all often suffer severe financial consequences as a result. Putting elder law strategies in place today...

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Planning Techniques to Help Gain Medicaid Eligibility

For older Americans seeking assistance with the costs of long-term care through Medicaid, income and assets must fit within the established guidelines. One of the most basic of the Medicaid guidelines is that you must spend down your assets before qualifying for state or federal assistance. Strict Medicaid rules are in place to prevent people from getting around the rules. However, numerous strategies are used to circumvent the rules. 5 Common Strategies Used to Qualify for Medicaid Without Spending Down Assets:   Irrevocable Trust: An irrevocable trust allows loves ones to receive the financial benefits of your assets. In the simplest...

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Elder Law: What to Do When You Need Long Term Care

Many older Americans are familiar with Medicare, the federal health insurance program for those 65 and older that pays doctor and hospital bills, but Medicare doesn’t cover everything. For instance, Medicare does not cover long term custodial care for help many older Americans need with the necessary activities of day-to-day life: bathing, dressing, and eating. As many older people eventually need this type of care due to either physical or mental impairment, they (or their family) has to find a way to cover the potentially expensive costs. In some cases, covering the costs of this type of long-term elder care...

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Qualified Income Trusts: Qualifying for Medicaid Benefits with a High Income

Eligible applicants for Medicaid’s long term care benefits must have income and assets that fall under the allowable limits. Individuals who do not qualify for Medicaid due to income higher than the permissible limits of the Medicaid process who don’t have enough income to pay for long term care should consider a Qualified Income Trust (QIT). Using Qualified Income Trusts (QITs), excess income is directly deposited monthly into a restricted funds account. The money in the restricted funds account is limited to use for one specific reason. Restricted funds accounts associated with QITs are reserved explicitly for paying nursing home bills...

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