Planning for Long-Term Care (Medicaid)

Who in their future expects to either permanently reside in a nursing home or depend upon visiting healthcare aides to provide needed medical support for them? The answer: no one, yet this is a reality for many people.


Recent statistics suggest that as many as 8,000,000 Americans will require some type of long-term medical support this year, be it assistance in a nursing home, assisted living facility or assistance at home. With the cost of privately paying for such services being astronomically high – for example, the cost of privately paying for nursing home care in Long Island averaging $12,633/month – many people who require such services stand to lose their entire life savings paying for medical care. Luckily, many of these costs can be avoided by engaging in long-term care (Medicaid) planning.


Long-term care (Medicaid) planning can take a few forms – the first, and most effective, is advanced long-term care (Medicaid) planning, while the second is last minute or “triage” long-term care (Medicaid) planning.


Advanced long-term care planning typically involves the creation of a irrevocable, Medicaid asset protection trust and the transfer of certain assets into the trust. This type of long-term care planning is the preferred method because it provides the greatest financial protection to our clients. While the federal and state Medicaid rules and regulations are rather complex, it boils down to this – when assets are transferred into an appropriate, irrevocable, Medicaid asset protection trust, these assets will be “Medicaid protected” and will not count toward applicable Medicaid asset limits 5 years after the date of transfer into the trust, as these assets were transferred prior to, and hence will not fall within, the Medicaid “look back” period.


The other form of long-term care (Medicaid) planning involves last minute or “triage” planning.  This form of planning is appropriate when there is an immediate need for medical care and no advance planning has been done. While this type of long-term care planning may result in the client having to expend a certain amount of assets before qualifying for Medicaid benefits, last minute plans can still be devised to save either all of a client’s assets, if the client requires care in his/her home, or approximately one-half (1/2) the client’s assets, if care must be provided in a nursing home setting.


If you or a loved one would like to engage in either advanced long-term care (Medicaid) planning or if Medicaid coverage is needed today, contact our office and speak with an experienced elder law attorney today.