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Medicaid FAQs

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POSTED BY LINDSAY KOLER ON MARCH 25, 2016 

1.  Can Medicaid or the nursing home take my home?

With proper planning, the answer is “No”.  Medicaid eligibility for nursing home care involves complicated rules. When a loved one is facing nursing home placement, the family should seek advice from a knowledgeable elder law attorney.

2.  Can I give my child $14K without creating a Medicaid penalty?

NO! Federal gift tax laws allow you to gift any person $14,000 per year without a reporting requirement.  Medicaid only disregards small gifts, totaling $1,200 each year, whether made to family members or charities. Please consult an elder law attorney before making gifts.

3.  Once I’m in a nursing home, is it too late for planning?

You can do planning to help qualify for Medicaid even after you enter the nursing home.  In fact, a lot of Medicaid planning is done at this point.

4.  What is a “snapshot” date?

US 1396r-5 (c) states the snapshot date occurs on the first day of the month in which a Medicaid applicant reached thirty days of “continuous institutionalization”. Continuous institutionalization is identified as thirty consecutive days in a hospitals or nursing home.  The “snapshot” is an important date because a resource assessment is done to document the assets owned on the snapshot date to determine the amount of assets a couple may keep and qualify for Medicaid.

5. Do I need to keep my supplemental health insurance once I am approved for Medicaid?

We look at each client on an individual basis to determine whether their policy should remain in effect.  Generally, it is recommended that Medicaid recipients keep their supplemental insurance policies.  A Medicaid recipient’s income, less the cost of supplemental insurance, and the personal needs allowance of $52, is paid to the nursing home.  Should they drop their supplemental insurance, they simply pay more to the nursing home each month. There are some situations when a person should drop their supplemental insurance. This may be the case if it would allow the community spouse to receive more income each month.

6. What happens to my income when I am approved for Medicaid?

The institutionalized person must pay all or a portion of their income to the nursing home as their monthly liability. The liability is based upon that person’s income, their spouse’s income, and the cost of their supplemental insurance.

7.  Will Medicaid provide help to keep my parents at home?

Yes, there is a Medicaid Waiver program that allows for seniors to live at home if they meet nursing home level of care but can stay at home at a cost that is less than the cost of a nursing home.

April Grunden