What is Medicaid?Medicaid is a public benefits program that is funded with both federal and state dollars. Each state’s Medicaid programs are similar, but their rules are different across the state lines. This is one reason it is important to speak to a local elder law attorney who knows the Michigan Medicaid laws. Call the attorneys at Axis Estate Planning if have questions about benefits for yourself or a loved one in Troy and its surrounding cities.
What long-term care benefits does Medicaid cover?The reality of long-term care becomes more and more realistic as you, your spouse, or elderly loved ones age. The price of long-term care at a nursing home assisted or independent living facility, or care in your own home can escalate quickly, leaving many Michigan families in a bad financial situation. Michigan Medicaid provides long-term care benefits that can be helpful, but the eligibility rules and application process are complex and difficult to navigate without a Medicaid planning attorney. With a legal consultation from the Medicaid attorneys from Axis Estate Planning, you can learn about program options and how to get the help you need.
Maneuvering Through the Michigan Medicaid SystemFortunately, seniors in Michigan have access to a handful of Medicaid programs that can provide help when it comes to long-term care. Benefits can be provided to residents living at home, independent living facilities, daycares, assisted living facilities, or nursing homes. The right Medicaid program for you or your loved one varies on the care required and a person’s financial circumstances. However, the most affordable and least restrictive care options also get the least funding. With Medicaid trust planning through an elder law attorney, you can determine which program best fits your family’s needs. Throughout Michigan, Medicaid applicants must match strict medical and financial qualifications to receive Medicaid benefits. The Medicaid attorneys at Axis Estate Planning can show you options and prepare for the application process with a personalized consultation. If you are searching for legal representation or have questions about Medicaid planning or Medicaid lawyers, contact Axis Estate Planning at (248) 251-1001 or reach out to us on our contact form.
More on Estate Planning We also offer seminars on Elder Law and Estate Planning. Check our events page for upcoming seminars that are usually held in the Top of Troy Building.
12 Medicaid Steps to Avoid
- Medicaid Mistake No. 1 – Relying on uneducated advice
- Medicaid Mistake No. 2 – Consulting the wrong kind of attorneyMedicaid Mistake No. 3 – Thinking it’s too late to plan
- Medicaid Mistake No. 4 – Submitting a Medicaid application before consulting with a Medicaid planning attorney
- Medicaid Mistake No. 5 – Submitting a Medicaid application either too early or too late
- Medicaid Mistake No. 6 – Assuming that your living trust will protect your assets from Medicaid
- Medicaid Mistake No. 7 – Assuming that your existing annuity will protect your assets from Medicaid
- Medicaid Mistake No. 8 – Attempting to hide assets
- Medicaid Mistake No. 9 – Giving away assets too early or giving away assets without a plan
- Medicaid Mistake No. 10 – Ignoring the safe harbors created by Congress
- Medicaid Mistake No. 11 – Failing to take advantage of protections for the spouse of a nursing home resident
- Medicaid Mistake No. 12 – Failing to properly prepare for estate recovery
FAQs About Planning For Medicaid EligibilityNursing homes have become very expensive as of late. A stay in a nursing home has become so expensive that many Americans wouldn’t be able to pay out of pocket for it. So, they turn to either Medicare or Medicaid. Medicare is a bit more difficult to qualify for when it comes to nursing home care coverage, so the route that makes sense is qualifying for Medicaid. However, there are still qualifications you have to meet for this Medicaid coverage. We at Axis Estate Planning want to help you qualify for Medicaid by starting your planning today. Take a look through these frequently asked questions about Medicaid qualifications to get an idea of what you need to plan for.
What is the difference in eligibility for nursing home care coverage between Medicaid and Medicare?Medicaid is generally the easier one for most people to be eligible for. It’s based on your income and assets, so if you plan ahead you can move around money and assets to meet the requirements for nursing home coverage. Medicare is more strict about when they cover nursing home costs, and it only covers a maximum amount of 100 days in a nursing home. There are some specific qualifications related to your care and the money you spend on it. To begin, the patient must be over 65 and have been in the hospital for at least 3 days. After that, the patient must be admitted to a Skilled Nursing Facility, where Medicare will cover the first 20 days of care. Then, you can get the remaining 80 days of care covered once you’ve paid your copayment, assuming that these three requirements are also met: 1. You are admitted to the Skilled Nursing Facility within 30 days of your hospitalization. 2. You are receiving skilled care, not only custodial care, for the same reason you went to the hospital. 3. A doctor must order this as necessary care.
Pane 2What is the difference in eligibility for nursing home care coverageWhich assets will count toward your Medicaid eligibility?To be eligible for Medicaid coverage, you need to have countable assets lower in total than $2,000. These countable assets include both income and property, but there are exceptions. In terms of income, anything money you receive from pensions, employment, alimony, Social Security Income, Social Security Disability, stock dividends, or IRA withdrawals is counted. In terms of assets, any real estate that you don’t permanently live in, investments, credit unions, IRAs, stocks, cash, bonds, checking, and saving accounts are counted in your total assets. Anything that is not listed here will not count in your Medicaid eligibility.
According to the Needs Assessment, what else affects Medicaid eligibility?All of the patients income needs to go toward the nursing home, with less than $60 allowed to be kept for a monthly allowance.
Are there transfer of assets rules for Michigan Medicaid?Yes, in Michigan there is a 5-year look-back period that applies to Medicaid eligibility. This means that for all non-exempt assets (such as real estate you don’t permanently live in) must be sold at a fair price at least 5 years before your Medicaid application. Giving money or assets away, selling for less than fair market value, or transferring assets to others within this 5-year period will result in an ineligibility period.
How does the Medicaid ineligibility period work?In Michigan, if you transfer or sell assets below their fair market value during the 5-year look-back period, then you’ll have to wait out a 12-month ineligibility period before your coverage starts. The 12-month ineligibility period begins when all of the following happen: • You are admitted to a nursing home. • Your Medicaid application has been filed. • And you have passed the Medicaid Needs Assessment.
Is Medicaid coverage for home health care different than for nursing home care?Most of the requirements stay the same to qualify for Medicaid to cover your home health care. You still must have less than $2,000 in countable assets for individuals and less than $3,000 in countable assets for couples. In order to qualify for home health care under Medicaid, you must be unable to independently complete activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs). These include things like dressing, bathing, grooming, cooking meals, shopping, and more. Medicaid will cover 28 hours of home health care a week in most cases, with more coverage offered in certain situations. You can live in your own home or the home of a loved one and receive this care.