Legal Planning for the Elderly

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Medicaid Planning (MoHealth Net) – Asset Protection

medicaidPersonal care is expensive, whether at home, in assisted living or in a nursing home. In Missouri, nursing homes may cost over $50,000.00 a year. In home care and assisted living can be even more expensive. These costs, for the most part, are not covered by Medicare. They are, however, covered by long-term care insurance. Unfortunately, most seniors and others in need of long-term care do not have such insurance, and have to rely on their savings to cover the cost of care. Even more unfortunate, without proper planning those in need of long-term care may deplete their life savings before receiving Medicaid assistance.

Medicaid, (known as MoHealth Net in Missouri)  is a joint federal and state program that provides medical care, including nursing home care, for persons unable to afford to pay for these services. Medicaid is different from Medicare, which is an insurance program covering medical needs for persons 65 and over and for certain other individuals with special needs. Medicare does not pay for long-term care in a nursing home. Eligibility for Medicaid is determined at the state Medicaid office, and for married couples, the assets and income of both spouses are considered in determining the eligibility of just one spouse for benefits. However, there are rules in effect that are designed to prevent spousal impoverishment. Also, there are rules in effect that may be utilized to assist in preventing depletion of  your hard earned assets. 

If you or a family member is facing a crisis, such as nursing home admission, but you are unsure how to pay for it, or are unsure what  benefits may be available to pay for it, we may be of help to you. The Medicaid rules are very complicated and ever-changing and the application process can be quite daunting. At Northland Elder Law we are committed to evaluating each case independently and providing guidance and assistance with the application process to help protect the family savings and to ensure that each client receives the benefits and care to which they are entitled.

Kansas City Medicaid Planning Tips

As an Elder Law and Medicaid planning attorney in Kansas City and Liberty, Missouri, I have many clients ask me about Medicaid eligibility. There are many myths surrounding this complicated area of the law. One such myth is that a married couple is allowed to have only $2,000 under Medicaid and they will lose their home and everything they own if one goes into a nursing home for long term care. The truth is that the spouse not in a nursing home is entitled to the home and a protected amount up to a maximum of $117,240 for 2014. In addition, with proper planning even amounts that are in excess of the protected amount may be set aside to the spouse not in a nursing home. At Northland Elder Law, we are experienced in Medicaid rules and exceptions that exist to preserve and protect assets when long term care in a nursing home becomes necessary.

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