We help clients qualify for government medical benefits legally and ensure their estates are preserved for their families, instead of their nest egg being wiped out by high nursing home expenses.
Is Someone You Love In A Nursing Home on Private Pay?
Find out that you don’t have to spend all of your money paying for nursing home cost!
Caring for the elderly and ensuring their assets are protected are some of the primary services offered by our law firm.
What is Asset Spend-Down?
Asset spend-down is the natural process of spending the family’s assets for the care of a loved one. The need for such care is most often sudden and unexpected.
As in the case of Mr. & Mrs. Williams: Mr. Williams unexpectedly required nursing home care at age 76. Within 24 months, Mrs. Williams had depleted their entire life savings on Mr. Williams’ care, leaving her with no means of support. Unfortunately, Mrs. Williams was unaware of the Spousal Impoverishment Provisions provided by law. We will help you determine the maximum dollar amount that can be protected for your family.
Can I Avoid Asset Spend-down?
In most cases, yes! Whether married or single, there are provisions not commonly known or used that can protect your assets from unnecessary spend-down. Knowledge of these provisions and how to best utilize them for your benefit can preserve more of your estate.
Can I Qualify for Medicaid?
In Texas, eligibility guidelines for Medicaid benefits are set by the Health & Human Services Commission. Eligibility is determined by your income, value of assets and other financial criteria. However, when you qualify can be affected by what you do today. A free initial review could result in your qualifying sooner for benefits and avoid unnecessary asset spend-down.
Can I Give Away My Estate?
Many people, in an attempt to avoid spending down their estate on long-term nursing care costs, will transfer or gift the bulk of their assets. This type of transfer creates a waiting period based on a Medicaid transfer of assets formula that changes periodically. Extreme caution is advised to anyone considering transfer of assets.
Medicaid Myths & Facts:
MYTH: “I just can’t afford to have my spouse in a nursing home.”
FACT: This is a real fear of many people whose spouses may need full-time nursing care. Usually this fear is because of lack of information about provisions that can protect the financial condition of the healthy spouse.
The Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1998 mandated that spouses of institutionalized individuals should have certain protected resources and income. The 2016 Protected Resources Amount (PRA) is 1/2 of the total resources up to a maximum of $119,220. This is in addition to an exempt home, automobile, and pre-paid burial plan.
The PRA should be established the first month of admission to a nursing home, even if you don’t intend to apply for Medicaid benefits for months or years later. The PRA is established in the month your spouse begins a continuous 30 day stay in a hospital/rehab or nursing facility.
IMPORTANT: Above are Medicaid guidelines only. Regardless of the size of an estate, we have been successful at helping families protect most of their assets from unnecessary spend-down! With proper planning, please understand you aren’t limited to resources of $119,220.
MYTH: ” I will lose my home if I require Medicaid assistance.”
FACT: In Texas, your home (including the land on which it is situated) is exempt up to a value of $552,000 in 2016. In other words, your home is not considered in determining resource eligibility.
Because of exempt status of the home, it is usually not wise to sell or give away property. A gift of exempt assets causes an uncompensated transfer resulting in a disqualification period.
IMPORTANT: Effective March 1, 2005, Texas Medicaid Estate Recovery (MERP) rules allow for claims against the home and personal property of certain Medicaid long-term care recipients, however, with proper planning it is possible to avoid estate recovery under current rules.
MYTH: “My income is too high to qualify.”
FACT: The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (ObrA 93) brought about many changes in the eligibility guidelines developed by the Health Care Finance Administration. One of those changes applies to individuals whose monthly income exceeds the current gross maximum of $2,199 for the year 2016.
This change made it possible for individuals with income over the limit to qualify for Medicaid benefits through the use of a Miller Trust (Qualified Income Trust). This trust solves only the income problem and has no effect on excess resources.
TESTIMONIALS FROM SATISFIED CLIENTS:
“My father had just suffered a massive heart attack and I was searching for a nursing home for my mother who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. I was very fortunate to be given your name during a very difficult period. Your service and professionalism to my family was absolutely impeccable.”
“My wife lived for seven years after going on Medicaid. Your planning saved me over $300,000. I am very grateful.”
“Because of your close attention to details and the inclusion of all necessary data, the Medicaid caseworker approved my wife’s application. Your firm’s staff assured me of complete peace of mind.”
“Thank you for all your hard work qualifying our mother, for answering our question and for listening to us. May you continue to be a blessing to other families as you’ve been to us.”
“I am extremely pleased with the outcome. Thanks to your expertise, we’ve been able to preserve all of our assets.”
“On my first appointment you gave me real hope while providing expert advice on qualifying for Medicaid. I can’t thank you enough. The service you provide is invaluable; the approach you take is positive and caring.”
“Our case was difficult and you performed well. I would not hesitate to recommend you to a friend.”