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House Panel Approves Changes to Medicaid Transfer Rules

  • October 28th, 2005

The House Energy and Commerce Committee approved a fiscal year 2006 budget reconciliation package that includes restrictions on asset transfer rules, setting up a fight with the Senate. The House panel voted along party lines on Thursday to approve a proposal that would cut Medicaid spending by $9.5 billion over five years.

The House bill proposes a severe tightening of penalties for the elderly who transfer assets and then apply for Medicaid coverage of nursing home care. It would extend the "lookback" period for all transfers from three to five years and change the start of the penalty period for transferred assets from the date of transfer to the date of Medicaid application.

The transfer-of-asset proposals, which many elder law attorneys view as harmful to their clients, were among the recommendations of the Medicaid Commission, established to advise Congress on how to cut $10 billion from Medicaid, as called for in the 2006 budget reconciliation bill approved earlier this year.

Other changes in the House bill include making anyone with with more than $500,000 in home equity ineligible for Medicaid-funded long-term care, and allowing states to raise Medicaid co-payments from $3 to $5 over three years.

The House bill differs significantly from a bill approved by the Senate Finance Committee earlier in the week. The Senate bill did not include changes to asset transfer rules or co-payments. The full House and Senate still need to vote on both bills.

As previously reported, the President of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Lawrence E. Davidow, is calling on elder law attorneys and their clients to urge Congress not to change nursing home transfer-of-asset rules.

For more on asset transfers, click here.

Local Elder Law Attorneys in Ashburn, VA

Jeffrey Hammond

Hammond and Associates, LLC, Elder Law, Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts, Probate
Bethesda, MD

Evan Farr

The Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C.
Fairfax, VA

Jean Ball

Hale Ball Carlson Baumgartner Murphy PLC
Fairfax, VA

Last Modified: 10/28/2005

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