At Fink Rosner Ershow-Levenberg Marinaro, LLC, we understand the complexities and emotional challenges involved in planning long-term nursing care. As elder care law lawyers, we’re here to guide you through the Medicaid planning and application process, ensuring you always receive the support you need.
Understanding Medicaid Long-Term Services & Supports (MLTSS)
Medicaid is an essential program that provides funding for nursing home care, assisted living, and other long-term care services. It’s designed as a safety net for those whose resources fall below a specific threshold — typically $2,000. However, if the applicant is married, their spouse can retain significant assets and income, including the marital home, a car, and up to $154,140 in assets as of 2024, without affecting the applicant’s Medicaid eligibility.
Why do people apply for Medicaid’s Long-Term Services?
The cost of long-term nursing care can be staggering, often depleting life savings rapidly. This financial strain is particularly acute for families dealing with cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s. Unfortunately, Medicare and most health insurance plans do not cover these expenses, making Medicaid the last resort for many.
The Medicaid application process
The Medicaid application process involves a strategic “spend down” of assets to meet eligibility criteria. Our team is adept at creating personalized spend-down plans that comply with the law and preserve as much of your assets as possible. This process includes detailed financial record-keeping and adherence to the five-year “look-back” period.
- Assessing eligibility
The process begins with a thorough assessment of the applicant’s financial situation. This includes understanding Medicaid’s asset and income limits and how these apply to individual circumstances.
- Medicaid planning
This step involves strategizing how to align your financial situation with Medicaid’s eligibility criteria. It may include asset reallocation, spend-down strategies, or setting up trusts.
- Documenting your financial history
A critical part of the application is documenting all financial transactions over the past five years. This addresses the Medicaid five-year look-back period and includes all assets transferred during this time.
- Completing the application
Gathering the necessary documents and accurately completing the Medicaid application form is essential. This includes personal identification, financial records, and medical documentation.
- Submission and review begins
After submitting the application to the appropriate Medicaid office, applicants must be ready to provide additional information if requested and understand the timeline for the review process.
- Understanding the decision
Post-application, it’s vital to review and understand the Medicaid decision, including what benefits are covered and the applicant’s responsibilities.
- Appeals process
In cases of denial, we will make you aware of your right to appeal and ensure that you understand the process involved.
- Utilizing the Medicaid benefits
Finally, upon approval, the applicant can select Medicaid-approved care providers and we will ensure that you are clear about the extent of coverage and any out-of-pocket expenses.
How we handle transfers and the five-year lookback
Asset transfers made within five years before applying for Medicaid can trigger a penalty period, during which Medicaid will not cover long-term care costs. However, there are certain exceptions, and legal strategies can protect assets within the boundaries of the law. We guide our clients in navigating these complex rules, including real estate transactions and preserving the primary residence.
Frequently asked questions regarding the Medicaid application
Naturally, you may have a few questions before starting your Medicaid application. Firstly, let’s answer a few FAQs about Medicaid so you can make an informed decision regarding your, or someone else’s, long-term care.
Medicaid is a federal program, managed locally, to assist with healthcare costs for those with limited income and resources.
You can apply for Medicaid as soon as you meet the financial eligibility criteria, which includes considerations like the Community Spouse Resource Allowance and strategic financial planning.
Losing your home isn’t always necessary — there are ways to protect your home under Medicaid rules, especially considering the five-year look-back period.
Why you can rely on us to help you with Medicaid planning
With over 28 years of experience, our firm has extensive experience evaluating the laws and preparing and defending Medicaid applications. We handle the intricate details of the application, requiring extensive documentation of your financial history. Our approach ensures that you leverage all legal opportunities to safeguard your assets.
Our team, including seasoned elder law attorneys and legal assistants, provides comprehensive support throughout the Medicaid application process. We ensure your application is complete and robust — always advocating for your best interests.
Speak with an attorney today regarding your Medicaid application
At Fink Rosner Ershow-Levenberg Marinaro, LLC, we’re committed to providing personalized, compassionate legal services. If you need assistance with your application for Medicaid long-term nursing care, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Our experience in elder care law and Medicaid planning can make a significant difference in securing the care and support you or your loved ones need.
Contact us today for guidance and support in your Medicaid application process.