Helping clients accumulate and protect wealth

Most of us do not realize that when the time comes for our parents or ourselves, there are few options in paying for in-home care, assisted living, or long-term/nursing home care needs.

The average cost of a nursing home in Ohio is around $7,000 per month with some facilities charging $12,500 a month or more. Medicare, our country’s medical insurance benefit for those over age 65, will only pay for up to 100 days of care, and usually much less. After this time period, your options are to private pay or seek Medicaid Benefits. Will you have an extra $7,000 to $12,500 to spend each month for this care?

Medicaid is a massively misunderstood benefit in America. It is a joint program between the federal government and the states which provides benefits for in-home care, assisted living, and long-term/nursing home care. Each county in Ohio has its own Medicaid office overseen by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services.

 To qualify for Medicaid, one must submit an application that shows countable assets below $2,000 and monthly income below $2,523 (the 2022 limit). However, these asset and income levels are subject to detailed structuring so that even a person having over $1,000,000 in assets can, with careful planning, qualify for Medicaid.

The common thought that one must be poor to qualify for Medicaid is absolutely wrong. How can this be true? Ohio Medicaid regulations allow a married couple to shift assets and income from the spouse needing assistance to the healthy spouse. Also, certain assets like a home, car, wedding rings, medical equipment, and the like are exempt from counting towards the Medicaid limit. A single and widowed person has similar planning options.

You may have heard that one must “spend down” all of their assets to get under $2,000 to qualify for Medicaid. Many people in the medical field may suggest this to you. But this is untrue. In many instances, our planning can shield all of a person’s assets from being counted by Medicaid and also protect those funds from being captured down the road.

Medicaid has a program called Medicaid Estate Recovery which seeks to recover Medicaid benefits from one’s assets after one dies. For instance, Medicaid can place a lien on one’s house which must be satisfied before that house can be eventually sold. Our planning seeks to minimize or eliminate this possibility.

Our Medicaid planning seeks to achieve three goals; 1. Qualifying one needing benefits for Medicaid, 2. Keeping assets in one’s family and not subject to Medicaid “Spenddown” and 3. Shielding as much of the assets as possible from Medicaid Estate Recovery.

Medicaid qualification can be met by almost any Ohioan; however, it takes careful planning with a qualified Elder Law attorney. Our firm is experienced in Elder Law and Medicaid planning and has helped many Ohio families meet Medicaid qualifications while saving their legacy for the family.

Why An Attorney that Specializes in Elder Care?

Elder law is a relatively recent area of focus in the legal field. This multifaceted practice came about when it became apparent that the elder population faced increasingly complex problems and needed guidance to handle the legal issues that arose. When the time comes, it is imperative that individuals and families consider hiring an elder law attorney to address these concerns.