MEDICAID PLANNING

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Thorough Medicaid Planning

Do you or a loved one have a need for long-term care? Are you worried about the financial consequences? Get the guidance you need from The Elder Law Firm. Our thorough Medicaid planning can help you preserve substantial family assets and bring you peace of mind. 

Headed by attorney, Richard Young, and paralegal, Molly Brown, our firm's Medicaid team specializes in obtaining Medicaid qualification for our clients to provide long term nursing home care. Very few law firms in Mississippi engage in this specialty.

Medicaid Program

The Medicaid Program was established by the United States government to provide long term nursing home care, and other services, to persons without resources to pay for the care. The program is funded through the United States government and administered through each State. This results in federal regulations which are universal to all States plus specific requirements enacted by each State. Added to this array of regulations is the fact that each family’s financial situation is unique and no two families are alike. Each family is affected differently by Medicaid. 
Current Medicaid Qualifications (2017)

The basic qualifications for Medicaid involve income and resources.  

Currently, the maximum income of an applicant is $2,205 per month. Additionally, the applicant can only have financial accounts with a total value of no more than $4,000. If married, the financial accounts can total $120,900, but the applicant can only have ownership of $4,000 or less of that amount, with the rest in the name of the spouse. 

Exempt assets include the home, principal of IRA, 2 automobiles, burial plots and burial funds, income-producing property that is producing at least 6% of equity value, whole life insurance policies that total $10,000 or less, term life insurance policies of any value, and household goods.

Examination

Our firm will review the situation of each family, develop a strategy to preserve assets and provide long-term care. Since each family is unique, one strategy never fits all.

Five-Year Look-Back Period

A transfer of assets which occurred five years or more before the date of application is not counted against qualification for Medicaid. A transfer within five years of the date of application does affect the time of qualification; a penalty period is given based on the value of the transfer and benefits will not begin until the end of that penalty period.

 Recommendations

If there were transfers within the five years, our firm strives to obtain the quickest time of qualification. Some of the methods that can be used to reduce the length of the penalty period are: 

(1) Medicaid Asset Protection Trust (MAPT). This is a Medicaid-approved irrevocable trust that protects assets after the five-year look-back period.
(2) Half a Loaf Method. This is emergency planning where assets can be gifted to family members and the penalty period can be reduced by nearly half through “re-gifting” funds to the applicant.
(3) Spend Down. Medicaid allows spend down of assets by using funds for certain items such as home, travel, education, funeral expenses (up to $6,000), vehicle purchase and other matters which benefit the applicant and/or spouse.
(4) Medicaid Planning. Done in advance, this can save practically all of a family’s assets.

Contact us today to learn more about your options.
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