Category Archives: Medicaid

Medicaid Estate Recovery- A threat to the family farm

By: Jessica LoPiccolo

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 10.46.42 AMHere in Ohio, we see quite a few clients who have farms that have been in their family for many, many generations. Most of the time, the family wants to continue to pass the farm down to their children, grandchildren and on down the line. But many families don't realize that there is a very serious threat to that dream. For instance, what happens if Grandma dies and then Grandpa gets sick and has to go into a nursing home? Once he has spent through his hard-earned savings, Grandpa will have to go on Medicaid in order to continue to pay the nursing home bill. The farm can be in his name for 13 months after being admitted to the nursing home.

But if he does not return home and the 13 months pass, the farm will have to be listed for sale (for at least 90% of the auditor's value or the full appraised value) in order for him to stay eligible for Medicaid. If the farm does not sell during Grandpa's lifetime, when he dies, the State of Ohio will place a lien on the property for the services provided through Medicaid (which can be a large amount as the average monthly cost for a nursing home in the State of Ohio currently is $6,114). Even though the farm may be “transferred on death” to Grandpa's children, the lien will follow the farm and will continue to incur interest until it is satisfied.

There are ways to avoid losing the family farm to Medicaid Estate Recovery. Please call Cooper, Adel and Associates to come in for a free one hour consultation to learn more. 

 

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

Are Your Medicaid Benefits Going Up?

By Attorney Virginia McCann

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 10.29.52 AMIf you are receiving Medicaid benefits, keep in mind that your benefits for 2014 may have changed. As you are probably aware, even when you are eligible for Medicaid, you are still required to pay your gross income, or a portion thereof, toward your cost of care. This is known as your “patient liability”. A stipend, known as a “personal needs allowance” (PNA) is deducted from the patient liability for you to spend on your needs. As of January 1, 2014, Medicaid recipients residing in nursing homes saw a rise in their PNA from $40 to $45 while the PNA for those living in an assisted living facility stayed the same at $50. If you are living at home and receiving benefits through one of Medicaid’s waiver programs, you are entitled to keep $1,406. If your income does not meet or exceed $1,406 you have no patient liability at all.

For married individuals receiving Medicaid benefits, the maximum amount of assets their spouse (known as the community spouse) is entitled to keep has gone up to $117,240. For couples with fewer assets, the community spouse is now entitled to keep at least $23,448 worth of assets. This is based on what is called the “community resource allowance” (CSRA) and is dependent on the total amount of assets held jointly, either at the time a Medicaid application was filed or when the spouse receiving benefits first entered a care facility for 30 days or more.

Individuals still living at home while their spouse (the “community spouse”) is residing in a long term care facility may be entitled to keep a portion of their spouse’s income. In fact, community spouses can retain enough of the other spouse’s income that their own monthly income could be as high as $2898. The total amount of income a community spouse can retain is dependent on factors such as the community spouse’s income as well as the cost of mortgage, taxes, insurance and utilities.

Seek help from an experienced elder law attorney to sort through the maze of Medicaid rules and regulations.  

 

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

Who Can Represent Mom in a Nursing Home Situation?

By Jess LoPiccolo

Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 1.42.47 PMThere are a few different answers to this commonly-asked question. When it comes to admitting a loved one into a nursing home, the power of attorney normally has the authority to do that. You must read the actual document to make sure that the power of attorney is authorized to do so, however. Further, it is important that the power of attorney sign any documents as power of attorney. Signing under your name, rather than as power of attorney for Mom, can make you responsible for Mom's bill!

When it comes to applying for Medicaid for an individual that is in the nursing home, you can represent your loved one, but you may find it best to go with a professional who has experience in making these applications. Consider working with an experienced elder law attorney to represent your loved one. Here at Cooper and Adel, we have a team dedicated to nursing home planning and Medicaid. Please give us a call for a free consultation to learn more about what we do.

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

Is divorce a good solution if my spouse goes into a nursing home?

By Attorney Nathan Simpson

Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 12.45.07 PMMany clients come into the office asking if their only option when faced with a catastrophic medical situation is divorce. They have heard that this is the only way to not be required to spend everything in the Nursing Home. Thankfully, that isn't the only way. While there may be a rare case where divorce is the best option, for the vast majority of people there are more palatable ways to protect assets from a Nursing Home spend down. Through strategic use of the rules relating to Medicaid and Veterans Benefits, an elder law attorney can protect assets without resorting to divorce.

Additionally, Medicaid rules even have special exemptions and benefits that only apply to married couples. Hastily filing for divorce in a Nursing Home situation can eliminate your eligibility for these benefits, and actually harm you financially. The best course of action when facing long term care expenses is not to call your divorce attorney. The best plan is to talk to an Ohio Elder Law attorney, and schedule a free consultation to create a plan that protects your assets, qualifies you for benefits, and does not force you into any unnecessary legal proceedings.

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

Don’t Go Broke in a Nursing Home

By Lori McBride

Over the past few months, we have been rolling out a new seminar to help education seniors and their families throughout Ohio, most recently in Chillicothe, Johnstown and Delaware. Here are some of the topics:

  • In a Nursing Home NOW? …. You may still protect your assets
  • Hidden Medical Taxes
  • New Rules for Assisted Living Waiver
  • Can You Give Away $14,000/Year Without a Medicaid Penalty?
  • Veteran's Benefits to Cover Healthcare Costs
  • Medicaid Planning for Home Care Coverage
  • ​Will you lose your home to Estate Recovery?

Certified Elder Law Specialists Thom Cooper and Mitch Adel will be holding a series of workshops informing Seniors that it's never too late to preserve and protect your assets. For a list of upcoming workshops in your area, please call me, Lori McBride at 1-877-401-2175 for more information.

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

What is the Lookback Period?

by Michelle Mason

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 12.33.21 PMMedicaid has its own language and the Lookback Period is one of those Medicaid terms that causes a great deal of confusion.

The Look back Period refers to the five-year period prior to the first date when you entered a long-term care facility and applied for Ohio Medicaid assistance.

The Lookback Period is actually an audit period – a time period when the State of Ohio can audit what you've done with your money to see if you have have given away (“gifted”) any of your money, deeds, titled property or other assets. Assets that you gave away before the Lookback Period are not counted.

If you made gifts during the Lookback Period, you are normally required to wait before Medicaid will pay your benefits based on the size of the gift you made. Bigger gifts create longer periods before the State will pay – this is sometimes called a penalty period. The penalty period can be long (yes, it can be longer than 5 years) or short depending on when made the gift and several other factors. There are exceptions to the rules … it's complicated.

You cannot hide money. You cannot lie about what you did with your assets. However, you can legally work with their rules, just like you do with your taxes, to make the best of the situation.

Attorney Cooper asks our clients a simple question: If you knew it would take five years to plan to protect your money from a nursing home spenddown, when should you start to plan? The answer is now!

 

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

Does my trust protect me from nursing home costs?

By Attorney Nathan Simpson

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 11.46.16 AMThis is one of the most common questions we hear from new clients. Despite what many believe, the answer is almost always the following: No. The trusts that most attorneys prepare are Revocable Living Trusts. These can be powerful documents to avoid probate, guardianships, and to save on death taxes. However, they are not Nursing Home-protected trusts. In fact, if used incorrectly, these trusts can make it harder to qualify for Nursing Home benefits, and can be result in a much larger spenddown than would otherwise be required.

Only a highly specialized trust can provide Nursing Home protection. There are many types of these trusts for different assets, but the best ones will not only provide Nursing Home protection, but will allow for flexibility in the future and for preserving important tax advantages.

A Revocable Living Trust can be a valuable tool for many people, but it is not a one size fits all solution. What is needed is a Life Plan that incorporates tax, nursing home, and probate planning to create a comprehensive solution.

If you would like to see if your trust is Nursing Home protected, and beginning developing a Life Plan for you and your family, please contact the elder law attorneys at Cooper, Adel & Associates today.

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

I am over the age of 60 and getting remarried. Do I need a prenup?

By Attorney Dan Vu

ohio-elder-law-attorneysIf you are considering remarriage after the age of 60, a prenup might not be the only thing you need to consider. A remarriage at this age has profound estate planning implications, both on your plan and your soon to be spouse's plan. Many people at this age already have an estate plan in play, perhaps it is just a will or a revocable trust. These documents will need to be revisited to match any new prenup.

More importantly are the unforeseen consequences that many attorneys forget to consider. For example, did you know that if you remarry, with or without a prenup, your new spouse must spend YOUR money to pay for health expenses, like a nursing home, before he or she will qualify for benefits? In others words, government benefits like Medicaid ignore prenuptial agreements, wills, and revocable trusts and will count both spouses' assets against the one spouse who is in a nursing home. So a remarriage where one spouse's assets or health is very different from the other spouse can become very complicated. It can cause ill will in the family, especially when catastrophic medical costs are incurred.

Does this mean you should avoid getting remarried? Absolutely not! There are, of course, benefits, namely tax benefits to being married. For some of you, the greatest motivation for remarriage is professing your love to each other and the world.. So get married, but right before, see a good elder law attorney to talk about what you can do to avoid the negative consequences of remarriage.

The never ending Nursing Home process

by Jess LoPiccolo

Every month, our firm makes many benefits applications. It takes a lot of time and effort to get the applications approved and the client on benefits. Our client must compile 5 years of financial statements then we review each statement and the county reviews them, looking for any gifts that have been made in the past 5 years. The benefits application process usually takes from one to three months, sometimes shorter and sometimes longer. All of the hard work and time put into an application is well worth it when our client's application is approved and they are able to get the help they need, and in some cases, protect some of the assets or money that they have worked their whole lifetime to accumulate.

The initial application is the hardest part, but it is not the end of the road for Medicaid recipients. Every year, Medicaid requires an annual medicaid reapplication. It is like a review. It is not as time-consuming nor does it require the Medicaid recipient to provide as much information and paperwork as the initial application. At the annual Medicaid reapplication the county only needs updated financial statements, income and health insurance premium amounts. This process is done once a year, usually around the same time every year, during the lifetime of the Medicaid recipient.

When the Medicaid recipient passes away, the Medicaid process is still not over. There is a program called Medicaid Estate Recovery. This is where the States tries to recoup monies that were paid out by Medicaid, for care of the Medicaid recipient.

Here at Cooper, Adel and Associates, we have a Medicaid team dedicated to making applications and reapplications easier for our clients. Please call our office if you or a loved are interested in learning more about Medicaid or Estate Recovery in Ohio.

 

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person's situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.
The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement. If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

The Sobering Reality of the Long-Term Care Situation Facing Baby Boomers

By Julian Guilfoyle

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”   ~Mark Twain

Screen Shot 2013-09-04 at 8.44.13 AMThe long-term care situation inherited by baby boomers presents a grim and worrisome reality. In addition to the emotional burdens faced by spouses and children, the financial burden is simply devastating for most Americans and their families. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services conducted a study of long-term care in America and some of its’ findings are particularly noteworthy. They found that more than 70 percent of Americans over the age of 65 would require long-term services at some point in their lives. Forty percent of Americans who reach age 65 will require a nursing home stay with twenty percent of those requiring long-term care for longer than five years. When required, the average cost of a private room is $219 a day, or $79,935 a year.

Many boomers have already experienced, first-hand, the limits of Medicare when attempting to provide for their aging parents. Under the best-case scenario, if a loved-one requires “skilled” care or therapy, Medicare can cover up to 100 days of care in a facility. Of those, days 21-100 require a co-pay from the Medicare recipient. Further, this care is only provided if the person is transferred to the facility after three consecutive days in a hospital (which believe it or not, is harder than it seems).

The safety net providing long-term care services for seniors who can no longer afford it is Medicaid. The income and asset limits imposed on Medicaid recipients are closely scrutinized and verified. In addition, they require substantial “spend-downs” where seniors must pay privately for their care. This is financially ruinous for women because they have longer life expectancies and many live their golden years with a fraction of the savings they had accumulated.

There is a solution for this epidemic in the form of long-term care insurance. However, few Americans have purchased this insurance because of the negatives surrounding these policies. Many have seen their premiums increased as insurance companies compensate for the increased amount of people who actually require the benefits. As premiums became unsustainable, especially after the income loss associated at first death between spouses, many of these policies began lapsing or having their benefits reduced. In addition, under the best case scenario, meaning one never requires to use their long-term care insurance during their lifetime, they don’t receive any benefit from the substantial premiums they have paid.

Few will face any tax during their lifetime that can equate to the cost of long-term care burdened by the majority of seniors. There are ways to protect your family from this catastrophic financial load, but different circumstances require different solutions. To discuss these solutions please call our office at 800-798-5297.

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DISCLAIMER – Every case is different because every case is different. This blog does not give legal advice. This blog does not create an attorney client relationship. You are not permitted to rely on anything in this blog for any reason. This blog is an entirely personal endeavor. Every person’s situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.
No attorney-client relationship is created by this site.

The use of the Internet, this blog or email for communication with this firm or any individual member of this firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Before we represent any client, the client and the attorney will sign a written retainer agreement.
If you do not have a written, signed retainer agreement with us, we are not representing you and will not be taking any action on your behalf.

 



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