Advocacy Groups to Congress: Abolish the Medicaid Estate Recovery Mandate

Medicaid estate recovery

Most seniors will need living assistance at some point, and a significant percentage of elders will require nursing home care. If you are going to qualify for Medicare when you are 65, you may not be concerned about long-term care costs when you reach an advanced age.

Medicare must cover nursing home care, right? It is a form of medical assistance that is required by seniors, and Medicare was designed to meet the health care needs of older Americans.

This is a logical assumption, but in fact, Medicare will not pay for a stay in a nursing home. The state of Connecticut has determined that the average cost for a month in a nursing facility in our state is $13,863, and the average length of stay is one year.

Medicaid Coverage

You do not necessarily have to be resigned to pay long-term care costs out of your own pocket. Medicaid will cover long-term custodial care, but it is a need-based program, so there is a $1600 asset limit in our state.

As elder law attorneys, we help people implement nursing home asset protection strategies that revolve around Medicaid eligibility. You can divest yourself of assets to gain eligibility, but it is complicated by the five-year look back period.

If you transfer assets out of your name, you will not be eligible for Medicaid for 60 months. You may not be able to live without income that is generated by your assets, but there is a workaround.

An irrevocable Medicaid trust can be established, and you be able to accept distributions of the trust’s earnings while you are living independently. After five years have passed, if you apply for Medicaid, the principal would not count.

Medicaid Estate Recovery

When you work with us to implement a plan for aging, we will explain the potential impact of the Medicaid estate recovery mandate. Your home is not a countable asset, but the program can place a lien on the property after your death if it is in your direct personal possession.

For this reason, when you are funding your irrevocable trust, you should make the trust the owner of your home. You would still be able to utilize the property as you see fit, but it would not count if you apply for Medicaid, and it would be protected from Medicaid estate recovery.

Abolition Efforts

A neat and tidy strategy can be developed if you are fully informed and you have the resources to work with qualified legal counsel. However, some people that own homes are not aware of the recovery process, and they have very limited resources.

If you are a low income estate beneficiary and you have the opportunity to inherit a home, the inheritance can be life-changing for your family. The Medicaid estate recovery phase can be absolutely devastating.

Earlier this year, five highly regarded senior advocacy groups called on Congress to eliminate the recovery mandate. They cited the impact on a vulnerable segment of the society, and they made another compelling point.

Estate recovery efforts generate enough money to cover .55 percent of Medicaid fee-for-services expenditures. The practice is really not benefiting the program in any real sense, but it is doing a lot of harm.

Attend a Complimentary Seminar!

As you can see, knowledge can save you a lot of money when you are planning your estate. We will be sharing some of it at our upcoming seminars, and there is no charge to attend these events.

You can see the dates if you visit our seminar schedule page, and if you decide to join us, follow the instructions to register so we can reserve your seat.

Ready to Take Action?

Advance planning is the key to nursing home asset protection, and we are here to help if you are ready to take action. You can schedule a consultation at our elder law offices in Westport or Glastonbury, Connecticut if you call us at 860-548-1000.

If you would rather send us a message, fill our contact form and we will get back in touch with you promptly.

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