What is Medicaid?
Medicaid is a joint federal and state (Connecticut and New York) program that covers nursing home costs for people who meet both the financial and health eligibility requirements. Medicaid in some states covers long term care (custodial care) at home, in an assisted living facility (with restrictions), and in a nursing home. There is both an income and asset test to qualify. That means you generally don't get Medicaid until you are out of money.
At the end of their lives, many people need assistance with every day tasks and healthcare. Assisted living and nursing home care are extremely expensive. Without planning, hardworking people are often forced to impoverish themselves to afford that care. Medicaid planning means arranging your property so that your assets go to your family (or other people or organizations that are important to you), rather than to the nursing home. The best time to do Medicaid planning is well before (5 years) entering the nursing home, when time is on your side and choices abound. You may have to develop and implement a plan which includes complex transactions. That is why the advice of an experienced elder law attorney like John Sweeney, can give you peace of mind when making these complicated decisions. Remember, it's never too late to plan.
By planning ahead, you retain as much control of your own life as possible by helping you to make health and age-related decisions in advance. Normally, this achieves the best results, saves money, and results in orderly situations. The Medicaid rules keep getting tighter and now have 5-year look back period. By planning ahead, you can ensure you don't lose control of your affairs or lose your financial security.
People also consult Elder lawyers when in the "crisis mode". Generally this is when there is a sudden event such as a healthcare event, financial problem, or decline in cognitive ability. Elder lawyers are extremely helpful in these situations also, but our ability to plan, optimize the situation and control the events is severely curtailed.
John combines superior knowledge and experience with kindness, compassion and care. He helps Mom and Dad and the Family. These are difficult times and need a soft hand.
It is not a good idea to have a nursing home social worker prepare a Medicaid application for you. Medicaid applications are never “simple” and should not be treated as such. Employees of nursing homes do not have the legal knowledge of Medicaid laws, and do not know to look for issues in your finances which could potentially result in the denial of a Medicaid application the way a knowledgeable elder law attorney does. Furthermore, it is in the Nursing homes' financial interest for you to be a "private pay" resident rather than a Medicaid resident, so their interests are adverse to yours.
A Medicaid application provides the detail of your financial history and needs to be prepared as if it was a case to be tried in Court. If your application for Medicaid is not prepared by a knowledgeable elder law attorney and the application is denied, you may not prevail at a fair hearing (an appeal to an administrative body at the Department of Social Services).
Contact John to help ensure you don't lose control of your affairs or lose your financials security.
John knows the unique state laws and issues in Fairfield County Connecticut and Westchester County New York which require special planning. So whether you live in Bethel CT or Lewisboro NY, he can help you.