paying for long term care

“My loved one needs long term care but can’t qualify for Medicaid…..”

I hear this time and time again. However, more often than not, caregivers do not have accurate information. As a result, they either exhaust their own time and/or well-being providing care themselves or spend their families’ precious resources to obtain the necessary care.

Getting educated is so essential to the process of taking care of an aging loved one. Most people seek answers from friends, co-workers or, doctors. The value of getting the right information can be priceless and potentially life changing for a caregiver.

Typical questions caregivers struggle with are:

How do I care for my loved one at home? If I have a home health aide, what can (or can’t) the aides do? How much does it cost? What is adult day care? What is assistive technology? What is Medicaid? Do I lose my doctors? Don’t I have to be “poor”? What if I have a pension? What if I own a house?

It is crucial to have an expert help you to navigate the options and create a plan specific to the needs of the individual and their family. One size does not fit all.

To dispel a few myths about Medicaid, read on….

You have to spend all of your assets before you can qualify for Medicaid. Not True! With proper planning, you can protect your assets by transferring them to a family member or a trust and still qualify for Medicaid. This can include property, investment accounts, life insurance, etc.

There is a five-year look back for asset transfers so I cannot qualify yet. This only applies for nursing home care. There is no look back for long-term home care. You can qualify the month following an asset transfer.

I cannot qualify because I receive a pension or other retirement income. There is a Medicaid eligibly income cap. However, you can shelter all income over the cap through a Pooled Income Trust.

I cannot qualify for Medicaid because I own my own home. Your house is exempt as long as you live in it. If you go to a nursing home, it is exempt only under certain circumstances. If you live in your home until you die and you are the sole owner, Medicaid will seek asset recovery for exempt assets. So it is essential to seek legal counsel on potential transfers.

Clearly there is a lot to understand. Make a point of getting informed.

Colin Sandler

Colin Sandler

Colin Sandler, LCSW, CCM, is owner of Medicaid Solutions, 2127 Crompond Road, Cortlandt Manor, NY. She has been providing advice on aging to seniors and their families for over 20 years. Email her at Colin@Medicaidsolutions.com or call 914-924-2566
Colin Sandler

Latest posts by Colin Sandler