1. MEDICAID MYTH: I can give away $13,000 a year under Medicaid rules.
TRUTH: You can give away $13,000 per year gift tax free. Under Medicaid rules
any such gifting, if within the 5 year look back period will be penalized.
2. MEDICAID MYTH: The nursing home and DHS is there to help me, so I do
not need legal representation.
TRUTH: While the nursing home staff is helpful, their main interest is making
sure the nursing home bill is paid, not helping you protect your life savings. The main goal of the
DHS caseworker is to act as a gate Keeper under Medicaid rules. Only an Elder Law attorney
experienced in Medicaid is qualified to help you.
3. MEDICAID MYTH: We have a prenuptial contract, so my separate property is protected from my spouse’s nursing care costs.
TRUTH: A prenuptial contract will protect separate property in the event of death or divorce. It will not shield your property from being counted as available Medicaid resources.
4. MEDICAID MYTH: Medicare will pay for my nursing home care.
TRUTH: Medicare will at most pay for only 100 days of acute skilled nursing care.
5. MEDICAID MYTH: My revocable trust will protect my property if I need Medicaid.
TRUTH: All resources in your revocable trust will be countable resources .
6. MEDICAID MYTH: My child’s name is on my certificates of deposit and bank accounts. Therefore at least ½ of my money is protected.
TRUTH: Regardless of joint names on your accounts, unless your child can prove that he or she contributed money to the account, all of the money will be counted as yours.
7. MEDICAID MYTH.: I can sell my property to my child for below market value and qualify for Medicaid.
TRUTH: Selling the real estate to a child for $1.00 and love and affection will not avoid the deed being treated as a gift of property for less than fair market value.
8. MEDICAID MYTH: We are only allowed to have $2,000 under Medicaid. We will lose our home and everything we own.
TRUTH: Property which is exempt is not counted by Medicaid. The spouse not in nursing care is entitled to a protected amount up to $109,560 for 2010.
9, MEDICAID MYTH: All nursing homes accept Medicaid patients.
TRUTH: Most all nursing homes accept Medicaid. If you spend down your resources in a non-Medicaid nursing home, then apply for Medicaid, you will have to transfer to a Medicaid nursing home. You may have difficulty getting accepted into the Medicaid nursing home of your choice if you cannot go in on private pay.
10. MEDICAID MYTH: I can transfer my property into my spouse’s name before I file for Medicaid. This will protect the property from Medicaid nursing home costs.
TRUTH: There can be good reasons to move all property into the name of the Community Spouse. However, Medicaid will count all resources of a couple, regardless of who owns the resources.