Mentor Ohio Medicaid Planning

Serving Northeast Ohio

Medicaid is a complicated system with many rules and regulations. Medicaid is a system of assistance for people who cannot afford their own medical or nursing care. The rules governing access to Medicaid are partially set by the Federal government and partially set by the State government. The planning for qualification for Medicaid is as individual as the person applying for assistance. However, there are some general rules.

Rules for Medicaid Assistance

The first of these rules is that any transfer for less than the fair market value of an asset of the applicant within five years of needing to qualify for Medicaid can delay or eliminate eligibility for Medicaid. Therefore, a parent cannot just give the house, car, or money to their children to qualify for Medicaid.

In order for the applicant to qualify for assistance, the applicant must have received fair market compensation for the asset transferred or it must have occurred more than five years before Medicaid assistance is necessary. The transfer must be complete and the applicant must have no control over the asset after the transfer.

The second rule is what assets and income may be maintained by the spouse who remains living in the community home. The State of Ohio has created specific rules for what assets and how much income can be kept by the “community spouse” for that person’s expenses. Generally, the “community spouse” may retain the home, a car, and some portion of the income of both spouses. A financial analysis should be made before the applicant begins to sell, transfer, or give away assets.

Another rule is that the application may not have more than (currently) $2000 in assets in his or her name upon application, or those assets must be spent on the applicant’s care or allowable expenses. One option is to purchase a non-refundable funeral/burial plan.

Medicaid Reimbursement

Medicaid may seek reimbursement from the estate of the recipient of assistance upon their death. This is a process in which the State seeks to collect from the assets of the recipient’s estate. The State may seek reimbursement up to the amount of the assistance received by the recipient IF the recipient does not have an estate then Medicaid has nothing to collect against.

Planning prior to application for Medicaid can protect some assets of the recipient. There is an exception to Medicaid recovery of a residence that a child has lived in with the parent that they cared for and who had made their parent’s residence their home. If the care provided by that child can be shown to have delayed the need for Medicaid funded nursing care by two years, then the house may be exempt from Medicaid recovery.

Contact the Experienced Medicaid Lawyers in Mentor and Northeast Ohio at Moseman Law Office, LLC

There are options to plan to protect the assets of a future Medicaid applicant but these need to be started more than five years prior to the potential need to apply for Medicaid assistance. For assistance with Medicaid planning and navigating the application process contact Moseman Law Office, LLC for an appointment.