Medicaid Mistakes

  • By 7016324482
  • 11 Jul, 2017

Many clients have received erroneous information from others regarding Medicaid and acting on this information often delays Medicaid eligibility. Several of the mistakes made are as follows: 

  1. Thinking it’s too late to plan. It's almost never too late to take planning steps, even after a senior has moved to a nursing home.
  2. Giving away assets. Medicaid sets limits on the amount of money and types of assets a person can own and still receive Medicaid. Many people think that giving these things to their children or others will solve that. However, transfers to others can delay Medicaid eligibility.
  3. Ignoring allowable transfer options created by Congress. Certain transfers can be made without jeopardizing Medicaid eligibility. These include: transfers to disabled children (even adult children who are not dependent on the Medicaid applicant), certain caretaker children, certain siblings and the purchase of an annuity which will then be “non-countable” yet will allow a supplement of income for the spouse who remains at home.
  4. Applying for Medicaid too early. This can result in a longer ineligibility period in some instances.
  5. Applying for Medicaid too late. This can mean the loss of many months of eligibility.
  6. Not getting qualified help. This is a complicated field that most people deal with only once in their lives. Tens of thousands of dollars are at stake. It is penny wise and pound foolish not to consult with people who make their living guiding others through the process.
  7. Confusion about the myth of Medicaid “taking my home.” Educate yourself about the rules and policy of estate recovery for Medicaid recipients. Medicaid does not “take your home.” In certain cases there may be no estate recovery at all. When there is estate recovery, Medicaid places a lien against the home so that some of the money they spent on the Medicaid recipient can be recouped from the proceeds when the home is sold.

  Get all the facts from reputable sources and professionals who know and understand the rules.


The Elder Law Firm Blog

By 7016324482 25 Jul, 2017

A client recently came to our office with the following situation. The client’s mother had passed away owning a house in Mississippi plus a house, other land and mineral interests in another state. Though the woman was a native of Mississippi, most of her life was spent in the other state. She also left a Will leaving her estate to her husband and if husband predeceased, then to a daughter. The Will, however, was never signed and therefore is invalid.

Without a Will, her estate must be administered in the county where she lived at the time of her death. Her assets must be inventoried, creditors notified through publication in a newspaper and in letters to the creditors, and heirs at law must be determined by publishing a Notice to Unknown Heirs in the newspaper and then, at a hearing, the Court must rule who her heirs at law are. In this case, there is only one child. However, this does not end the problem. A similar administration must be filed in all other states where real property or mineral interests are owned. Although there are differences in each state’s laws,  the handling probate and administration of estates is somewhat similar everywhere and the same matters must be attended to according to the laws of the other state.

If the deceased had the foresight to create, fund and administer a Revocable Living Trust, the dual expense, months delay and long-distance administration would have been avoided. The Trust could be created in any state where the Grantor owned real property. The Trust would then be funded by transferring (deeding) the ownership of all real property and mineral interests to the Trust once and for all. The cost to administer estates in two states is at least four or five times the cost of creating a Trust and transferring property in each state.

Whether property is owned in just Mississippi, whether single or multiple tracts, or in several states, a wise consideration is to create a Revocable Living Trust and save your beneficiaries much delay, frustration, and money.

By 7016324482 11 Jul, 2017

Many clients have received erroneous information from others regarding Medicaid and acting on this information often delays Medicaid eligibility. Several of the mistakes made are as follows: 

  1. Thinking it’s too late to plan. It's almost never too late to take planning steps, even after a senior has moved to a nursing home.
  2. Giving away assets. Medicaid sets limits on the amount of money and types of assets a person can own and still receive Medicaid. Many people think that giving these things to their children or others will solve that. However, transfers to others can delay Medicaid eligibility.
  3. Ignoring allowable transfer options created by Congress. Certain transfers can be made without jeopardizing Medicaid eligibility. These include: transfers to disabled children (even adult children who are not dependent on the Medicaid applicant), certain caretaker children, certain siblings and the purchase of an annuity which will then be “non-countable” yet will allow a supplement of income for the spouse who remains at home.
  4. Applying for Medicaid too early. This can result in a longer ineligibility period in some instances.
  5. Applying for Medicaid too late. This can mean the loss of many months of eligibility.
  6. Not getting qualified help. This is a complicated field that most people deal with only once in their lives. Tens of thousands of dollars are at stake. It is penny wise and pound foolish not to consult with people who make their living guiding others through the process.
  7. Confusion about the myth of Medicaid “taking my home.” Educate yourself about the rules and policy of estate recovery for Medicaid recipients. Medicaid does not “take your home.” In certain cases there may be no estate recovery at all. When there is estate recovery, Medicaid places a lien against the home so that some of the money they spent on the Medicaid recipient can be recouped from the proceeds when the home is sold.

  Get all the facts from reputable sources and professionals who know and understand the rules.


By 7016324482 17 May, 2017

To qualify for long-term care under the Medicaid program, there are two general qualification criteria: (1) monthly income; and (2) resources. Some of the specific eligibility requirements can change annually and a prior article covered the changes for 2017. The current income limit is $2,205 per month. However, there is an avenue available to qualify for Medicaid when the resource criterion is met, but the monthly income is too high. The Division of Medicaid designed a mechanism called a “Medicaid Income Trust,” or sometimes "Qualified Income Trust."  This Medicaid Income Trust is not to be confused with a Revocable Living Trust or a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust which are often topics in this column. 

The Medicaid Income Trust is a short document that is signed by the applicant or representative of the applicant and commences the month that the applicant first receives Medicaid benefits for long-term care. The concept of the trust is that the applicant’s monthly income in excess of $2,205 is held in the Medicaid Income Trust. It is then periodically audited and the monies held there are paid to Medicaid to defray the amount Medicaid has paid to the nursing home. Using this approach, a Medicaid applicant who otherwise qualifies for benefits can qualify for Medicaid even with a monthly income greater than the current amount allowed. 

The income of the applicant’s spouse does not affect the applicant’s eligibility. The spouse’s income is not used in calculations for Medicaid eligibility if the spouse is not also applying. This allows the spouse to live at home and have sufficient resources to pay expenses. 

The income limit for long-term Medicaid care is not necessarily applicable for all Medicaid services. There are different criteria for each program, including the Medicaid waiver program known as Home and Community Based Services. This program provides assistance for qualifying persons needing care but who are remaining at home. To qualify for this program, the applicant either receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or meets the income and resource eligibility requirements for income level up to 300% of the SSI federal benefit rate and meets certain medical criteria.
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