Making the decision to move someone into a nursing home is never an easy choice. Ideally, the person’s health condition would be the sole reason for this change. Sadly, for many people, the ability to pay for this care is often another consideration. Thankfully, the federal Medicaid program can provide partial or full payments needed to cover the costs of nursing home care. These benefits are available only to those who have no assets to pay for this care themselves. This may require you to sell real estate or other family heirlooms to meet these eligibility requirements.
Fortunately, an alternative may exist. Our elder law attorneys are prepared to provide you with more information about Medicaid eligibility for nursing home care in Cranberry Township. This includes suggesting estate planning strategies that could keep valuable assets in the family while improving your chances of receiving Medicaid benefits.
Moving into a nursing home is usually expensive and these facilities can charge thousands of dollars every month. They have the ability to demand payments out of pocket, or (depending on the state) even to attach liens on physical property and real estate to obtain payments for their services. Pennsylvania, however, does not impose liens.
Despite these facts, the federal government recognizes that many senior citizens will need this care in their later years and might not be able to afford treatment. The Medicaid program serves as a way to provide partial or even total payments for nursing home care in Cranberry Township. Our lawyers work with you to provide more information about the relationship between Medicaid and nursing homes.
All applications for Medicaid benefits will include an evaluation of a person’s financial situation. This is because Medicaid is a needs-based program. This evaluation not only examines your ability to make cash payments out of bank accounts but also evaluates any assets that you might be able to sell to raise funds. For people considering moving into a nursing home, these assets often include:
It is understandable that you will want to protect these assets while still receiving financial assistance for nursing home care. One way to achieve this is to create a Medicaid trust.
Shielding assets from nursing homes often involves transferring ownership to others. The most common way to accomplish this is to place those assets into a trust, which allow you to remain living in the home while another person obtains official ownership. Ideally, this will protect the asset from valuation during a Medicaid application.
However, the administrators of Medicaid are aware of these plans. As a result, current law under section 1917(c)(1)(B)(i) of the Social Security Act creates a five-year lookback period. This means that Medicaid can evaluate a Cranberry Township resident’s finances for up to five years prior to the date of an application for the purposes of determining eligibility. As a result, you should immediately consider whether you are likely to require nursing home care in the future and contact our attorneys now to start the planning process.
Obtaining Medicaid benefits is often the only way that a person is able to afford nursing home care. This program can provide direct payments to nursing homes once a resident’s assets run out. However, you will certainly want to avoid this outcome. In fact, it may be possible to qualify for Medicaid while still protecting your ownership of assets, such as a family home.
Our attorneys are ready to discuss these options with you. These options may include placing assets into a trust that makes them no longer your property in the eyes of the law. Flexible choices can allow you to continue living in a home while transferring ownership, so speak with our attorneys today about Medicaid eligibility for nursing home care in Cranberry Township.