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MEDICAID

WHAT IS CHRONIC CARE?

Medicare pays for brief rehabilitation after hospital episodes.  It does not pay for chronic custodial care.

This is about the payment for chronic custodial care rendered at home or in a nursing facility.  The care may be needed for months or years.  It is not usually skilled care; it usually involves the tasks of daily living such as dressing, cooking, feeding, bathing, toileting, help with walking or transferring in and out of a chair, bed or a wheelchair.

MEDICAID PAYS FOR LONG TERM CHRONIC CARE:

Medicaid is available to people who have limited assets. But additional assets can sometimes be saved by asset protection planning. See section on this website entitled Asset Protection Planning.

FINANCIAL QUALIFICATIONS FOR NURSING HOME MEDICAID

ASSETS THAT DO NOT DISQUALIFY FOR MEDICAID:
A person is entitled to keep certain exempt items that do not count towards your total assets. They include:

INCOME:
A person applying for Medicaid is presently permitted to retain a small amount per month in income.

ASSETS:
A person applying for Medicaid is presently permitted to retain a flat amount in assets.

ASSETS FOR MARRIED COUPLE:
A married couple may keep a certain amount of assets; the exact amount varies.  There are some exceptions to that rule, especially where the family income is low.

INCOME FOR SPOUSE:
A spouse living in the marital home may keep a basic living allowance per month in income.

If the spouse who is not applying for Medicaid has insufficient income to provide for his or her reasonable needs, it is sometimes possible to have some of the income of the spouse in the nursing home reallocated to the non-Medicaid spouse.

MEDICAID HOME CARE:

REGULAR COMMUNITY MEDICAID HOME CARE

A Medicaid application is submitted and you select a home care agency to apply to.

BE WARY OF GIFTS:

If you decide not to do an asset protection plan, note that under the new Medicaid law enacted in February of 2006, in the event that you give away assets (such as cash, a bank account or an interest in a house), you may disqualify yourself from Medicaid for a certain length of time, depending upon the value of the gift.

In theory even relatively small gifts to relatives could accumulate to disqualify you from Medicaid payment for nursing home care.