How Does Medicaid Estate Recovery Work?
Cincinnati Medicaid attorneys help seniors to make plans to qualify for Medicaid to pay for nursing home care and for other kinds of costly medical services that seniors may need as they get older. Unfortunately, it can be hard for many older people to qualify for Medicaid because of strict limits on income and resources that a person can possess while still being eligible for this means-tested government benefit. Seniors are often forced to spend down many of their assets, which means using their own funds to pay for care until they have impoverished themselves and become eligible for Medicaid benefits.
Even if you do qualify for Medicaid, this does not necessarily mean that your remaining assets are safe and will be able to serve as a legacy. There are rules called Medicaid estate recovery rules that allow the state to collect funds after a death. The Ohio Department of Medicaid explains these Ohio Medicaid estate recovery rules so seniors will know what to expect.
Zimmer Law Firm can provide assistance to older people and their families in understanding whether or not estate recovery could result in the loss of valuable family assets. If estate recovery is likely in your situation, our legal team can also help you to explore ways to protect your estate from being lost due to estate recovery. Give us a call to find out more about the ways in which our Cincinnati Medicaid attorneys will do everything possible to help keep your assets safe.
How Does Medicaid Estate Recovery Work?
According to the Ohio Department of Medicaid, estate recovery “seeks to obtain repayment for the cost of Medicaid benefits once a Medicaid recipient is deceased.” Estate recovery occurs only if a Medicaid recipient was permanently institutionalized (like living in a nursing home) or if the Medicaid recipient received care when he or she was age 55 or older. Estate recovery allows the state to try to regain money paid out for all different types of expenditures, including Medicare premium assistance payments if the Medicaid recipient was permanently institutionalized.
The estate recovery process involves the making a claim on the estate of a Medicaid beneficiary after that beneficiary passes away. The state tries to recoup assets from the estate, including — in some circumstances — taking a house of a person whose nursing home care Medicaid paid for. Houses are, however, at least protected under certain circumstances, such as when a survivors faces undue hardship due to estate recovery or if a sibling or child of the deceased Medicaid beneficiary is living in the home and specific conditions are met.
Because the state can try to recoup this money, the legacy of a Medicaid beneficiary can be lost because assets which should serve as an inheritance could instead end up being paid to the state because a claim is made to recoup Medicaid spending.
How Can Cincinnati Medicaid Attorneys Help Avoid Estate Recovery
Cincinnati Medicaid attorneys can assist you in determining if you have options for transferring ownership of assets well before you need Medicaid to pay for you, both so you can get covered for care when you require it without having to lose all your assets by impoverishing yourself and also so you can try to ensure no assets are lost due to the estate recovery process.
Making plans to protect your wealth during the process of qualifying for Medicaid and after you have passed away can be complicated. You also need to take action before you actually need Medicaid to pay for nursing home care, as there is a period of disqualification imposed if you gave away money or assets within five years of trying to get Medicaid. This makes it important to start Medicaid planning early to protect as much wealth as possible and avoid potential financial loss.
Getting Help from Cincinnati Medicaid Attorneys
Cincinnati Medicaid attorneys at Zimmer Law Firm will guide you through the entirety of the process of making a Medicaid plan so you can try to keep wealth safe from being lost due to estate recovery. We will also assist in finding alternative options to cover care costs, if you have any options besides Medicaid such as VA benefits that could help to pay for some care.
To find out more about how Zimmer Law Firm can assist you with trying to reduce the financial impact that estate recovery could have on your finances, give us a call at 513.721.1513 today. You could also join us for a free seminar to learn more about the services we offer.