Can I Still Qualify for Medicaid if I Give Away Assets?
Can you qualify for Medicaid if you give away assets? This is an important question that you need to know the answer to. The answer can depend upon when you gave away your money or property. You should talk with a Cincinnati Medicaid planning lawyer in order to determine how the transfer of assets can impact your Medicaid eligibility.
Zimmer Law Firm has provided help to many clients in making sure they can qualify for Medicaid, and we can assist you in making smart choices about what to do with your wealth while trying to get access to important Medicaid benefits. Give us a call to find out more.
Why is Qualifying for Medicaid Important?
Qualifying for Medicaid is important, especially as you get older or if you develop a serious injury or illness. Medicaid can provide coverage with low or no co-insurance costs, unlike Medicare or private insurance which can require you to pay a big portion of the costs of care. Even more importantly, when you get Medicaid coverage, this government insurance will pay for your nursing home care. Most insurance, including Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and private policies, either don’t cover nursing homes at all or cover care only for very specific things and only for a very limited time.
As you get older, the chances you will go into a nursing home increase. If you are not able to get costs paid for by some kind of insurance provider, you will be forced to spend down your nest egg on nursing home care. When you have to spend all of your money and even sell property to pay for some of your care, you won’t be able to leave a legacy to the people who you love.
Qualifying for Medicaid After Giving Away Assets
Many seniors and others who need to go into a nursing home would be able to qualify for Medicaid based on having limited or no income. However, they may not be able to get benefits because they have too many assets. The Ohio Department of Medicaid explains the qualification requirements.
Because there are maximum asset limits for those who are interested in qualifying for Medicaid, many people wonder if they can just give away assets in order to qualify to get benefits. The problem is, giving away your money or property could potentially result in you becoming disqualified from getting benefits.
When you apply for Medicaid to cover your care in a nursing home or to cover other care that you may need, Medicaid is going to look back at financial transactions you made over the prior five years. The purpose is to see if you gave away wealth or if you “sold” property at far less than market value so you would no longer own it and so it would no longer count as a Medicaid resource.
A rule called the five-year lookback rule dictates that Medicaid look at these past transactions. If you did give away money or property, you can be disqualified for getting Medicaid coverage for a period of months that is determined by dividing the value of transferred assets by the average monthly nursing home costs in your area.
Because of the five-year lookback rule, it is important to start planning to qualify for Medicaid long before you need to get nursing home care paid for. Zimmer Law Firm can assist you in making strategic choices about how the ownership of your assets and property should be structured so when it comes time to qualify for Medicaid, you will be able to get covered as soon as possible.
If you do need care and have made asset transfers within the past five years, or if you need care now and have made no transfers, you may still be able to protect some of your wealth. A Medicaid planning lawyer can help you to explore all possible ways to keep as much of your money and assets as possible safe so you don’t lose everything simply because you had to go into a nursing home.
Getting Help from A Cincinnati Medicaid Planning Lawyer
A Cincinnati Medicaid planning lawyer at Zimmer Law Firm can assist you in finding ways to qualify for Medicaid and protect your assets. To learn more about the Medicaid planning process, give us a call at 513.721.1513 or download our estate planning checklist. You work too hard for your money to lose everything just because you have the bad luck of needing nursing home care as a result of an illness or injury. Give us a call today to discover how we can help you keep your wealth safe and avoid getting disqualified from Medicaid due to an asset transfer.