The Next Three Mistakes


  1. Spending down exempt resources

Solution: A couple should never start spending down assets without knowing for certain which ones are exempt.


  1. Continuing to spend down after you would qualify for Medicaid

Some couples qualify for Medicaid benefits before they realize it. Perhaps they have received misinformation about the Medicaid program and they believe they must spend down half of all their assets before applying for benefits. They don’t realize that additional resources can be protected to provide income for the spouse, make exempt transfers, or for some other approved purpose.

It’s heartbreaking for us to meet for the first time with a client, only to realize that Medicaid benefits were available many months ago, but no one applied. Such a mistake can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars in unnecessary expenditures.

Solution: Determining when a couple could qualify for Medicaid benefits often requires numerous calculations involving the couple’s assets, incomes, shelter costs, nursing home expenses, and other figures. These calculations, and an assessment of the couple’s goals and objectives, should be made as soon as possible after admission to a nursing facility, to make sure the opportunity to receive Medicaid benefits is taken as soon as the couple qualifies.

  1. Missing opportunities for exempt transfers

Federal and state law provide ineligibility penalties when Medicaid applicants (or their spouses) make gifts of money or property during the five-year “look-back” period.

But many people don’t realize that the law also provides exemptions from those gifting penalties. For example, there is no penalty for gifting money to a disabled son or daughter of a Medicaid applicant. A residence (or a partial interest in one) can be given to a son or daughter who has lived in the home for at least two years prior to the owner entering a nursing facility, if that child has provided care that has kept the owner from being institutionalized sooner.

Failing to take advantage of exempt transfers available to Medicaid applicants could financially burden a family member needlessly.

Solution: Get expert advice about transfer penalty exemptions that may apply in your circumstances before you spend down assets to qualify for Medicaid.

If you have questions about your eligibility or that of a Loved One, give us a call at 1-800-939-9093 and we can gather some information and let you know if you have qualified or when you will.  One phone call may save thousands of dollars in long term care costs, but you have to make that call!  


Thanks, Richard   

[email protected]