Understanding Medicaid Ohio rules is essential for anyone who wants to ensure that deteriorating health or a serious illness does not destroy their ability to leave a legacy. Medicaid is one of the only ways to get nursing home bills paid.
Without Medicaid, you likely will need to pay out-of-pocket. This is because most private insurers as well as Medicare provide coverage only for nursing homes when a patient must go into the home to receive skilled medical services. Since most people need custodial care, not skilled care, paying privately is the only choice other than Medicaid.
Medicaid has strict limits for who can qualify based on their income and their resources. If you have a lot of assets, you may not qualify unless you engage in Medicaid planning to protect those assets and to structure ownership in a strategic way. Medicaid Ohio rules, however, can prevent you from using a Medicaid plan to protect your assets unless you act well in advance of the time when you need nursing home care.
An experienced Ohio Medicaid planning lawyer can provide assistance in understanding your options and in determining if Medicaid planning is a possibility for you. Zimmer Law Firm helps people to create plans well before nursing home care is needed so the maximum value of assets and property can be protected.
Our legal team also provides advice in situations where there is an imminent need for nursing care and no plan is yet in place. In these situations, the goal is to explore all possible ways to preserve the most assets possible. Give us a call to learn more.
Medicaid Ohio Rules and Medicaid Planning
The rules for seeking Medicaid coverage in Ohio require you to have minimal household income. You are also required to have very limited assets or financial resources. These rules exist because Medicaid is supposed to be need-based. It is supposed to provide coverage only for people with a financial need.
For seniors, the income limits are not usually a big issue but the rules on maximum assets can pose a substantial problem. This is because most seniors own their own homes or have otherwise acquired property over the course of their lives. Many seniors also typically have money in the bank or in investment accounts because they have saved money over the course of their lives.
You do not want to have to spend this money or sell any of your property, and Medicaid planning involves taking steps so you don’t have to. Typically, this will involve creating an irrevocable trust and transferring assets into that trust. There are some other steps that could potentially be taken for Medicaid planning, such as making gifts or acquiring more exempt assets rather than assets which are counted as resources.
Unfortunately, Medicaid tries to prevent you from taking many of the steps involved in Medicaid planning. Medicaid Ohio rules impose a five-year lookback period to determine whether or not you transferred any of your property or gave away any property or assets for less than fair market value. If you gave away or transferred assets, Medicaid disqualifies you for a limited period of time.
You will be disqualified from Medicaid paying for your nursing home care for a set number of months which is determined based on a simple division. You have to add up the value of assets you gave away or transferred and then divide this by the average monthly cost of a nursing home where you live. If you gave away $50,000 worth of property, for example, and nursing homes cost $5,000 a month locally, you would be disqualified for $50,000/$5,000 = 10 months.
You can get around this rule by making your Medicaid plan as early as possible. If you haven’t done this, you can usually still protect some assets and should talk with an Ohio Medicaid planning lawyer to explore options.
Getting Help from an Ohio Medicaid Planning Lawyer
Zimmer Law Firm wants to help you to protect as much of your money and property as possible, so you should contact us as soon as you can. We will explore your options for preserving and protecting your nest egg and will help you to use all available legal tools so you can keep the money and property you have worked so hard to acquire. These assets should be able to serve as your legacy, and you should not lose them just because you have to go into a nursing home.
To learn more about the ways in which our Ohio Medicaid planning lawyers can help you, give us a call at 513.721.1513. You can also join us for a free seminar to find out more about how the Medicaid planning process works as part of creating your comprehensive estate plan.