As an experienced elder law and medicaid attorney, Sean Nichols dedicates his legal practice to helping senior citizens throughout Michigan. One of the ways we help our clients involves elder medicaid planning.
Our law firm assists senior citizens Michigan’s medicaid application process as well as implementing strategies to protect their income and assets. When necessary, we also help ensure this government funded program can be used to obtain affordable nursing home care.
Medicaid And Elder Care
Medicaid is a mostly federally-funded program administered by the state which pays for the cost of a nursing home after certain criteria are met. Medicaid is also used as health insurance for people meeting the income requirements. This page focuses specifically on elder medicaid.
Initially, Medicare pays for skilled nursing care for the first few months. Sadly, some folks must enter a nursing home for extended care and this situation becomes extremely expensive. As a result, many people may see their life savings wiped out fairly quickly.
Fortunately, the Medicaid Program helps lower and middle class families with long term costs. Of course, the eligibility requirements are quite complex and based on your assets and income.
First, for married couples, you want to ensure your loved one is safe. Second, you want to keep some of your money and assets in case you have a similar crisis.
Elder Medicaid Questions
What is the difference between Medicare and Medicaid? – Medicare is a health insurance program for people 65 or older regardless of income. Medicare may also be used by those with severe disabilities. On the other hand, Medicaid is a state and federal program that provides health coverage if you have a very low income. Medicaid may also be used to pay for nursing home costs when certain criteria are met.
Can Medicaid take my house? (Estate recovery) – Generally speaking, you don’t have to sell your home to receive medicaid coverage for nursing home care. That being said, the government may file a claim after one’s passing. It’s important to note, the State is required to recoup benefits paid for your care; this is called “estate recovery.” As a result, it’s vital to consult with an experienced elder lawyer before entering a nursing home.
What assets does Medicaid count? – Medicaid divides assets into two main categories: exempt and countable. The primary exempt assets include: the home, personal belongings and household furniture, one car, a prepaid funeral contract and a certain amount for burial, certain real estate, limited life insurance, etc. Some countable assets include: money in savings, CD’s, checking, IRA’s, some trusts, etc.; equity in real estate (other than main home), extra cars, boats, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc. It’s important to consult with an elder law attorney to deal with the complexities of these asset classifications and figure out the best way to secure finances.
Can I give money to my children before applying for Medicaid? – Medicaid will look back 5 years to check for any transfer of assets. In other words, parents may not give money to their children before or after entering a nursing home to lower their net worth. This matter needs to be discussed with an attorney familiar with Medicaid rules.
Do all nursing homes accept Medicaid? – No. All nursing homes do not accept Medicaid. It’s important to find out whether or not a nursing home will keep your loved one after Medicare coverage, or private healthcare coverage runs out. Obviously, it’s difficult to move a patient. So, advance planning with a knowledgeable attorney avoids this hardship. Once again, the elder law attorney has this necessary information for you.
Elder Medicaid Attorney in Plymouth, MI
Sean J Nichols, PLLC is dedicated to helping clients with legal issues related to aging, long term care planning, estate recovery and nursing home medicaid in Michigan. Our offices are located in Plymouth, MI and we proudly serve clients all throughout the Metro Detroit area.
If you or a loved one have concerns related to elder medicaid, call the offices of Sean J Nichols, PLLC today.