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Liquidating assets before medicaid

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However, in that situation, Medicaid would be entitled to a lien against the house equal to the total amount Medicaid spends on nursing home care over the lifetime of the home owner.Medicaid can then collect on that lien when the nursing home resident dies.Without a rule that limited people’s ability to give away their assets when it became evident that they need nursing home care, even a millionaire could give everything away and be immediately eligible for Medicaid.The “look-back” rule, which establishes penalties for gifts and other transfers of property made for the purpose of qualifying for Medicaid, prevents that from happening.Because someone who enters a nursing home generally has a limited life expectancy, and the circumstances won’t permit that person much of an opportunity to spend money on anything other than nursing home care, the incentive to hold onto assets for future personal use is very limited.

It is expected that 70% of people turning 65 will need long-term care at some point in their lives and that many of these people will require care from a long-term care facility or nursing home.

Summary: Seniors who are entering a nursing home all have the same concern.

They will be required to spend down their assets in order to become eligible for Medicaid.

Until this is done, they will be solely responsible for covering the cost of nursing home care.

This is true even if the senior has a private plan to help pay for the care.

Although transfers between spouses are exempt, transfers to persons other than spouses usually subject the donor to penalties that result in periods of ineligibility for Medicaid. Medicaid will look back at gifts made within five (5) years.

Generally, the more money or property a person gives away, the longer he or she will be ineligible for Medicaid. The five (5) year period is really a "reporting" period.

In early 2006, Congress decided, as part of the Deficit Reduction Act (“DRA”), that three years wasn’t long enough, and increased that to five years.

It was then up to the states to implement that change in the law.

With certain exceptions, for example, like those noted above, I may be in a minority on this issue; but I believe that my working-class parents lived frugally and saved, not to enrich me, but to ensure they had enough to be cared for in their years of retirement. When they're health failed them at about 72 years of age, I used ALL of Mom and Dad's money--including selling their home, cashing in insurance policies, savings, etc.

Both single individuals and married couples are permitted to own some property and be eligible for Medicaid.