There’s a common misconception that once you enter a nursing home you have to lose your home and savings. People believe this because Medicaid is the only program that will pay for most residents’ care costs, and Medicaid has strict income and asset restrictions for eligibility.
While many of Medicaid’s rules are harsh, many families miss out on the planning opportunities that exist elsewhere in the rules. The truth is that there are very interesting strategies that can help you protect your home and savings.
You won’t find out about these techniques from the nursing home. Although the people working in nursing homes generally are very helpful, they don’t know or can’t advise you on the best techniques. Similarly, the Medicaid caseworker assigned to your case can’t give you legal advice on complicated spend down.
They can’t tell you that it is possible for a single person to save over half her assets after an admission. You won’t learn that sometimes it makes perfect sense to violate the five-year lookback period. They can’t tell that restructuring how you own your money can protect it for the healthy spouse. They can’t tell you this because they either don’t know or aren’t allowed.
The only way you’re going to find out the best strategy for your family is to work with an experienced elder law attorney. As one of a handful of Certified Elder Law Attorneys in Western PA, I’ve been helping families through this process for a decade. If you are or a loved one is in a nursing home, call us today for a free consultation.