In order to be eligible for Medicaid, you cannot have recently transferred assets. Congress does not want you to move into a...Read more
Senate Passes Budget Bill Without Major Asset Transfer Changes
- November 4th, 2005
The Senate has narrowly passed a budget reconciliation bill that does not include major changes to Medicaid's asset transfer rules.
The House is expected to vote next week on its own version of the budget bill, which includes far deeper Medicaid cuts. That version still contains significant changes to the transfer rules, including an extension of the "lookback" period for asset transfers, a change in the start of the penalty period for transferred assets, and the denial of Medicaid long-term care coverage to applicants with more than $500,000 in home equity. Following next week's vote, a conference committee is expected to convene late in the week or early the following week.
The bill approved by the Senate does attempt to "reform" certain Medicaid asset transfer rules, including the treatment of annuities and life estates.
The Senate's 52-47 vote was on a bill that includes about $10 billion in spending reductions to Medicare and Medicaid, although the cuts largely protect beneficiaries, while wresting most of the savings from drug companies, pharmacies and insurance subsidies.
One provision could draw a White House veto. The measure achieves about $5.4 billion in savings over five years by phasing out a fund created to encourage insurers to offer prescription drug coverage under the new Medicare prescription drug benefit. The White House has threatened to veto any bill that contains this provision.
Another danger area is a provision permitting exploratory oil drilling in the Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Five Republicans in the Senate who oppose the drilling voted against the bill. House GOP leaders may drop the oil drilling plan and revisit it in when the House and Senate bills are reconciled in conference committee. The Associated Press reports that so many GOP lawmakers are unhappy with the bill in general "that Republican leaders say it will have to be reworked before a final vote in the full House."
The Senate bill would make the first cuts to mandatory programs since 1997 while retaining $70 billion in tax cuts. Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) called the bill "a reflection of the Republican Congress's commitment to pursue a path of fiscal responsibility." The Senate Democratic leader, Harry Reid (D-Nev.), called the budget "an immoral document" that "harms vulnerable Americans to provide another round of large tax breaks for the elite of this country, special interests and multimillionaires."
To read S.1932, the Deficit Reduction Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 2005, go to: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c109:S.1932: For the provisions affecting transfer rules and long-term care partnership programs, scroll down to Chapter 2, Sec 6011.
Local Elder Law Attorneys in Ashburn, VA
Law Offices of John L. Laster
John Laster is a lawyer licensed to practice in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. He limits his practice to wealth transfer planning, trusts, wills, powers of attorney, health care decision-making issues, estate administration and related tax, elder law and disability concerns. Listed in The Best Lawyers...
Needham Mitnick & Pollack, PLC
Susan Pollack served as Chairperson of the Falls Church Senior Citizens Commission from 1997 to 2011 and was on the Executive Board of the Falls Church Education Foundation. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the Alzheimer’s Association of the National Capital Area and is a member of the Arlington B...
Felinton Elder Law & Estate Planning Centers
Mindy Felinton concentrates in the areas of Medicaid planning, Veterans' Benefits, asset protection, nursing home planning, elder law, wills, estate planning, trusts, living wills, powers of attorney, probate administration and trust administration and began her legal career 30 years ago as an Assistant State Attorney...