What is Medicaid Planning?

Planning involves “Planning”. Not just getting eligible.

  • One must understand how to apply the Medicaid rules related to shifting, gifting and spending. This is referred to as “Medicaid Planning”.
  • Federal law allows certain transfers and shifting of assets to gain eligibility for Medicaid while still having access to those funds by the applicant or certain family members.
  • Medicaid “planning” involves more than just getting a person qualified for Medicaid and submitting an application.
  • Medicaid “planning” involves understanding pre-eligibility as well as post-eligibility impacts of using planning techniques. Impacts on legal title to your property, taxes, and your estate plan.

Medicaid Planning – When does it make sense?

  • Typical Medicaid Planning cases involve anywhere from $15,000 to $250,000 depending on the life expectancy, health and age of the Medicaid applicant.
  • It makes sense when there is an opportunity to shift assets to where Medicaid does not count the assets against the applicant for Medicaid eligibility, but the applicant has access to those funds while he or she is on Medicaid to pay for things Medicaid does not provide.
  • Not all cases require sophisticated “planning”. If a person does not have any assets and is already financially qualified under the Medicaid rules, there is no need for sophisticated planning.

Can I submit my own Medicaid application?

  • Maybe, however the time necessary to compile the proper documents, file the application navigate the state processes and dealing with state caseworkers and understanding the legal issues and documents necessary to submit can be time consuming, as well as emotionally and mentally draining.
  • Gregory Glenn, P.A. has staff and experience spanning 40 years in the processing of Medicaid applications and navigating the Medicaid laws.

Doesn’t Medicare Cover Nursing Home Care?

Beware of the Medicare “Myth” – Medicare only covers rehabilitation for limited period

  • Medicare does provide home care and rehabilitation in a skilled nursing facility, but on a very limited basis (Up to the first 20 days of a “rehabilitation related” stay is 100% covered. A co-pay applies to days 21 to 100.
  • Medicare does not pay for long-term custodial care. That’s where Medicaid long-term care programs can help. Medicaid has programs that will provide benefits to help pay for: 1) a person to receive certain types of care at home, 2) assisted living facility room & board, and 3) nursing home care.
  • In reality, Medicare does not pay for skilled long-term care.
  • The coverage is under Medicare Part A skilled rehabilitative care services. It is available only after being “admitted” for a “qualified” hospital stay for a minimum of three nights. The maximum coverage is 100 days after the “qualifying” hospital stay.

Are Medicaid Planners “qualified” to assist?

  • Good Medicaid Planners have formal training in law and understand estate planning as well as legalities involving Medicaid law and how to navigate the Medicaid rules.
  • A Social worker or nurse does not possess the formal training necessary to provide good sound legal or financial advice direction unless of course they have a law degree.

Gregory G. Glenn, Esq. is a Certified Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. He has practiced elder law since 1995. Prior to law school Mr. Glenn worked as a management consultant at the Big Eight accounting firm of Coopers & Lybrand, CPA’s and also at Dunn & Roth, CPA’s as a staff accountant. He has his law degree from MSU and completed his legal studies at the University of Miami School of law. His focus in elder law is on estate planning for the over 65, disability planning, probate, and Medicaid eligibility planning. His office is in Boynton Beach, Florida.