An attorney can help you save money in the long run as well as make sure you are getting the best care for your loved one.Read more
Medicaid Planning Benefits the Wealthy, Article Charges
- February 26th, 2003
An article in the Feb. 25 Wall Street Journal discusses the practice of Medicaid planning, in which individuals purposely transfer assets so that they can qualify for Medicaid coverage of nursing home care. The Journal alleges that "Families, in some cases with net worths of millions of dollars, are going through contortions to spend or give away all their money." An "entire industry" made up of attorneys and others is helping "well-heeled" retirees qualify for Medicaid, the Journal charges.
Although transferring assets to qualify for Medicaid is legal, states are seeking federal permission to further limit asset transfers, says the Journal. Many eyes are on the federal government''s response to a request by Connecticut that it be permitted to change the rules regarding the "penalty period" that is imposed when assets are transferred. Currently, states can require a Medicaid applicant to wait for Medicaid coverage for a period of time that is equal to the amount of transferred assets divided by the average monthly cost of nursing home care in the state. This penalty period begins on the first day of the month in which the transfer takes place, meaning that an individual in a state where the average nursing home cost is $5,000 a month could transfer $50,000, wait ten months, and then theoretically be eligible for Medicaid coverage.
Connecticut is seeking to change the law so that the penalty period would begin when the individual would have been eligible for Medicaid services if the transfer had not occurred. The Journal reports that Kansas and other states are expected to ask for similar permission depending on the outcome of Connecticut''s request. However, nursing home operators, some advocacy groups and attorneys for the elderly are lobbying to stop Connecticut, claiming that the change will hurt people who transfer assets to help a family member in fiscal crisis.
The Wall Street Journal is available online only by subscription. Go to www.wsj.com
For more on the ethics of Medicaid planning, click here.
For more on the Medicaid transfer penalty rules, click here.
Local Elder Law Attorneys in Ashburn, VA
Hale Ball Carlson Baumgartner Murphy PLC
Jean Galloway Ball is certified in Elder Law by the National Elder Law Foundation. She is a 1977 honors graduate of the National Law Center, George Washington University, and she did her undergraduate work at the University of California at Berkeley, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1971. She is admitted to practice in Vir...
Margaret A. O'Reilly, PC
Margaret A. O’Reilly is an estate planning and elder law attorney with over thirty-five years of legal experience. Attorney O’Reilly graduated from Duke University with a degree in psychology, and received her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts. For over 15 y...
The Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C.
In practice since 1987, Fairfax Attorney Evan Farr is widely recognized as one of the leading Elder Law, Estate Planning, and Specials Needs attorneys in Virginia and one of foremost experts in the Country in the field of Medicaid Asset Protection and related Trusts. Evan Farr has been quoted or cited as an expert by n...