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Calculator for Emergency Medicaid Planning Added to Site

  • December 18th, 2002

Even if a person needs long-term care quickly and has not done any previous Medicaid planning, it is still generally possible to protect about half the individual's savings through a strategy called 'half a loaf.'

The strategy works this way: Before applying for Medicaid, the prospective applicant transfers half of his or her resources, thus creating a Medicaid penalty period. The prospective applicant, who is often already in a nursing home, then uses the other half of his or her resources to pay for care while waiting out the penalty period. After the penalty period has expired, the individual can apply for Medicaid coverage. (This strategy is explained in more detail in the section on Long-Term Care Planning at left; click here.)

In many cases, however, dividing a person''s savings exactly in half may mean that he or she would actually transfer too much or too little, depending on variables like income and the nursing home''s actual costs. As a result, elder law attorneys have developed an algebraic formula for a more fine-tuned approach to determining the optimum amount a nursing home resident can transfer. ElderLawAnswers.com has created a Half-a-Loaf Calculator that uses this formula.

Bear in mind that any result must be treated as preliminary and confirmed by an elder law attorney because other factors or planning opportunities may be relevant. In addition, if a prospective nursing home resident is married and the couple''s total countable assets are under $200,000, it can be important to delay any transfer until the ill spouse moves to a nursing home. Again, it''s important to consult with an elder law attorney.

To go to the Half-a-Loaf Calculator, click here.

Local Elder Law Attorneys in Ashburn, VA

Margaret O'Reilly

Margaret A. O'Reilly, PC
Herndon, VA

Loretta Williams

Hale Ball Carlson Baumgartner Murphy PLC
Fairfax, VA

Judith Mitnick

Needham Mitnick & Pollack, PLC
Falls Church, VA

Last Modified: 12/18/2002

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