Medicaid Planning

Yes, Medicaid Can Deny Your Application for Failure to Provide Sufficient Financial Documentation

Medicaid Denials

In case you were thinking that you would file for Medicaid, and they wouldn’t ask you for any financial information to verify your application… think again. In December, a New Jersey appeals court upheld the denial of Medicaid benefits because the applicant did not provide sufficient financial verifications. P.B. v. Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (N.J. Super. Ct., App. Div., No. A-5405-15T2, Dec. 8, 2017). Here are the basic facts of this case: P.B.’s daughter filed a Medicaid application on her behalf. The state Medicaid agency requested additional information about P.B.’s bank accounts, life insurance policies, and housing. The daughter […]

How to Pay for Nursing Home Care in North Carolina

Paying for Nursing Home Care

One of the harsh realities of life is that if you live long enough, at some point you may need move into a long-term care facility, otherwise known as a “skilled nursing facility”. The cost of these facilities can be downright crippling to most families. At a typical cost of between $6,500 to $10,000 per month ($78,000 to $120,000 per year), a lifetime of savings can be lost in just a few short years at one of these facilities. As a result, one of the most common questions I get from potential clients and my trusted referral partners is simply […]

What is a Ladybird Deed?

Ladybird Deed in North Carolina

North Carolina is one of a handful of states that allows individuals to use Ladybird Deeds to protect their personal residence. But what is a Ladybird Deed anyway, and how do you know if you need one? One of the best ways to explain a Ladybird Deed is to use a simple hypothetical. The Story of Bill and Mary Bill and Mary are an elderly couple. Bill is 75 and has survived several heart attacks. Mary is 77 and has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Many years ago, Bill and Mary drew up what are commonly called “sweetheart wills”. This […]

Medicaid Crisis Planning: A Case Study

Three p's of estate planning

Many people falsely believe that if they or their loved one has to enter a nursing home unexpectedly (after an acute event such as a stroke, an accident, a heart attack, etc.), that they have no choice but to spend down all of their assets (typically on nursing home care) before they can qualify for Medicaid. This couldn’t be further from the truth. When something like this happens, an elder law attorney can assist with what is called “Medicaid Crisis Planning“. The goal of Medicaid crisis planning is simple, to protect as many assets as possible while at the same […]

Are You Draining Your Entire Life Savings to Pay for a Nursing Home?

nursing home poverty

Stop me if you have heard this before. You have a spouse or parent with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Maybe they are the victim of a stroke, Parkinson’s, or MS. Perhaps they had a heart attack and are recovering. They went to a rehab and now Medicare is paying the tab. But rehab is no longer working and it is time for them to move to a skilled nursing facility. For a variety of reasons, you are unable to care for them at home. Perhaps their medical needs are too great. Perhaps you are unable to assist them with the activities […]

Why Spend Down Doesn’t Necessarily Mean “Spend Down” for Medicaid Purposes

Medicaid Spend Down

Over the past several weeks, I’ve been meeting with a lot of Nursing Home Administrators and Social Workers. For many people who are applying for Medicaid to pay for Long Term Care costs at a Skilled Nursing Facility, the staff at the nursing home is the front line of information on what they should and shouldn’t be doing as they apply for Medicaid. For many applicants, a Medicaid “Spend Down” is necessary so that the applicant will qualify for benefits. But what is and what isn’t a Medicaid Spend Down? Many people who I talk with don’t fully understand what […]

Nursing Home Medicaid Planning

Medicaid Planning Rules

To many people, the entire Medicaid planning process seems complex and overwhelming. And to be honest, if you are attempting to navigate this minefield on your own without professional help – it is. If you are caring for a loved one or family member who will need to move into a long-term care facility at some point in the near future, then Medicaid Planning is an absolute must. Understanding the Medicaid planning rules is the single best way to ensure that your loved one receives the care they need while at the same time protecting as much of your hard-earned […]

What is Medicaid Planning?

Medicaid planning

A frequent misconception about Medicaid is that it is only for poor people. In reality, Medicaid is a government-run social program that is used to help people pay for nursing home expenses. However, to qualify for Medicaid, you must meet certain income and asset thresholds. An elder law attorney can help people to position their assets and income such that when they apply for Medicaid, they will be approved for benefits while at the same time retaining as many of their hard-earned assets as possible. Here is the thing about Medicaid… One way or another your loved one will have […]