STRATEGIES TO AVOID NURSING HOME SPEND-DOWN POVERTY

By The Law Offices of David L. Orosz –

Medicare vs. MedicaidLast month we discussed how the financial requirements of Medicaid can affect eligibility for Nursing Home Medicaid benefits. Now that you have separated your assets into the three columns, Countable, Non-countable and Inaccessible, the total value of your Countable Assets is what we will address here.

If you are single, Medicaid will tell you that you will have to spend-down all of your Countable Assets until you have only $2,000 remaining. You will then be eligible for Medicaid assistance. If you are married, Medicaid will tell you as the spouse at home that you may keep $113,640 in Countable Assets (with an additional $2,000 for the spouse in the nursing home). You will therefore need to spend-down all of your Countable Assets until you reach the total of $115,640. Again, remember these are Florida Rules.

Now that you have separated your assets according to the above and the Countable Assets are below the $115,640 (if married) and $2,000 (if single) levels, you should be Medicaid eligible.

If your countable assets exceed the above limitations, are you stuck with having to give the excess to the nursing home by the process called “spend-down”? The answer is a resounding “NO!” if you are aware of the strategies explained below and how you can utilize them in your estate plan with the help of an experienced and qualified attorney.

What follows is a short list of estate planning techniques compiled from my study and research, many of which I have successfully used to achieve Medicaid nursing home eligibility. Remember, at this time, we are only concerned with excess Countable Assets.

Applicants and their spouses may protect a small amount of excess Countable Assets by spending them on Non-countable Assets such as prepaying

funeral expenses, purchase a vehicle, paying off existing debts, prepaying real estate taxes, insurance and condo fees, or making home improvements and repairs.

For larger amounts of excess Countable Assets, I have developed an asset protection plan which involves an interaction of various legal documents which results in asset eligibility for both Medicaid long-term care benefits and/or VA Aid & Attendance simultaneously.

With proper planning and experienced legal guidance, any Florida resident can asset qualify for Medicaid and VA long-term care benefits and preserve 100% of their existing assets for supplemental care for themselves, their spouses, and provide an inheritance to their children free from Medicaid recovery and probate.

In next month’s issue we will discuss Preplanning for Medicaid. “How can you plan for a possible future long-term care need while you are presently healthy?”

Law Offices of David L. Orosz
5237 Summerlin Commons Blvd.
Ft. Myers, FL 33907
(239) 334-8585
www.floridamedicaid.com

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