Individuals and families facing the prospect of an extended nursing home stay deal with more than the emotional difficulties associated with their decision; they must also grapple with the dilemma of how to pay for nursing home care. At a cost of up to $7,500 per month in Indiana, few can afford to privately pay for nursing home care for an extended period of time. With proper Medicaid planning by an experienced advisor, families can ensure that their assets are passed on to the next generation rather than the nursing home.

Medicaid, a joint federal-state program, provides medical assistance to low-income individuals, including those who are 65 or older, disabled or blind. Medicaid is the single largest payer of nursing home bills in America, and serves as the option of last resort for people who have no other way to finance their long term care. Although Medicaid eligibility rules vary from state to state, federal minimum standards and guidelines must be observed.

Those with sufficient means have the option of paying for in-home nursing care. However, most individuals cannot afford this level of care and must reside in a nursing facility. The individual must pay privately for the nursing home if he or she has the assets to do so. Most people cannot afford this monthly expense for long. Once their assets are depleted, Medicaid helps pay for the costs of their nursing care.

The most common Medicaid concern is whether an individual must spend down all of their assets in order to qualify for Medicaid. People have grave fears of losing their homes and their life-savings paying for the costs of long-term care. While Medicaid rules are restrictive and complex, it is possible to obtain Medicaid eligibility while preserving assets. This process is known as Medicaid planning, and the sooner and individual begins this process, the more assets can be preserved.

There are several tools available in Medicaid planning such as gifting, trusts, spend down, long term care insurance, annuities, promissory notes, or a combination of these options. Only an experienced elder law attorney knows how to implement these tools as part of a comprehensive plan designed to qualify an individual for Medicaid while protecting assets from the costs of long term care. Trying to navigate the Medicaid rules alone or using an inexperienced attorney to create a Medicaid plan can result in mistakes and preclude Medicaid eligibility.

Our goal at Rebecca W. Geyer & Associates, PC is to learn about your family’s particular goals and concerns, educate you about Medicaid laws, and develop a comprehensive family strategy that protects assets while obtaining Medicaid eligibility. Contact us now to schedule your consultation.

The attorneys of Rebecca W. Geyer & Associates, PC assist clients with Estate Planning and Elder Law needs, including Wills and Trusts, Advance Directives, Estate Administration, Medicaid, Veterans Benefits, and Special Needs, in Indianapolis, Indiana and the surrounding counties of Boone, Hancock, Hamilton, Hendricks, Howard, Johnson, and Morgan.