Articles Posted in Medicaid & Medicare

AdobeStock_86658626-300x190Few crises are more stressful than those related to health and long-term care. It is hard enough to navigate these complex issues during the best of times. In a world full of uncertainty, they become even more stressful and urgent.

As we all wrestle with the day-to-day reality of COVID-19, the already daunting task of figuring out how to sustainably support necessary home care, medical services, nursing home costs, and other critical expenses quickly becomes overwhelming.

And the situation is exponentially worse if you’ve waited until you’re in crisis to address the important questions of how to pay for critical services, protect your assets, and ensure your comfort, security, and quality of life.

Brendan-mug-shot-e1595015692932-281x300By Brendan Daly

As an elder law attorney, I’ve been advocating for my senior clients for twenty years, but I recently discovered that my 78-year-old dad still has a few things to teach me.

It was a lesson I maybe should have seen coming.

home-sign-300x200“Promise me you won’t ever put me in a nursing home.” Our parents would make us sign in blood if they could.

Fear of losing their independence and way of life is a tremendous concern among Connecticut seniors. And, in today’s COVID-19 environment – knowing how the virus can easily spread throughout a nursing home and to its vulnerable population – staying at home is a preferable option for many.

But if you’re like so many Connecticut residents, you may not know that there is Medicaid coverage for receiving care at home – that Medicaid benefits are not just for nursing home residents. This is great news!

iStock_000016746886Smallby Carmine Perri

You want to apply for Medicaid – a complicated process – but you’ve heard that hiring an attorney specializing in Medicaid planning is expensive.

So why not use one of those new services that say they’ll do the same thing for less?

But do they really do the same thing?

The State of Florida doesn’t think so. Continue reading

AdobeStock_141959265-300x200There are few planning tasks more daunting than applying for Medicaid. The process is intimidating and can quickly become overwhelming, not merely because it’s complicated but also because it opens up a Pandora’s Box of legally nuanced questions and concerns.

This is not a task anyone can afford to botch, and it’s something that you have to get right on the first try.

Because of the challenges, most people seek help navigating the Medicaid labyrinth. While there are many reputable Connecticut elder law attorneys who assist with Medicaid applications and asset protection planning, there is also a dangerous new breed of “senior planning” providers that is preying on elderly nursing home residents, often reducing them to financial ruin. 

iStock_000019669901SmallAssets count when it comes to qualifying for Medicaid as we discussed in another post, “How to Qualify for Medicaid Benefits by Planning Now.” However, some assets related to your funeral expenses are excluded, and prepaying them is an acceptable way to spend down your assets to qualify for Medicaid, or Title XIX.

Here’s what the State of Connecticut allows:

Irrevocable Funeral Trust or Contract

You can prepay up to $10,000 for an irrevocable funeral trust, also called an irrevocable funeral contract. This covers basic service charges, funeral services, preparation of remains, vehicles, etc. Keep in mind that this type of contract cannot be canceled or cashed in. It can only be transferred to another licensed funeral home. Continue reading

medicaid claimBy Lara Schneider-Bomzer

The Connecticut Supreme Court decision, Pikula v. Department of Social Services, established clear guidelines for determining if a trust should be considered a “supplemental needs trust” or a “general support trust.”

In general, assets held in a supplemental needs trust are considered unavailable in determining Medicaid eligibility for the trust beneficiary. Continue reading

Grunge Stempel rot PREPAIDYou have probably heard the phrase “spend down” – something you could do to reduce your assets which would help to qualify you for Medicaid.

A prepaid funeral contract is one of those items that are considered exempt. In other words, its value won’t be counted when the Department of Social Services is reviewing your total assets.

The standard amount allowed by the the state of Connecticut for a prepaid irrevocable funeral service contract is $10,000.

AdobeStock_47549916-193x300By Lynda Lee Arnold

Are you thinking of moving close to your child’s home? Close…as in an in-law apartment or addition?

Many people in their later years decide to downsize and give money to an adult child for building an addition onto the child’s home.

Complex formula

By Kathleen Michalak

“Live long and prosper” is a blessing made famous by the TV series Star Trek.

But living a long life can be a mixed blessing, when care needs increase, and finances decrease.

When assets are depleted, Medicaid is a safety net you want to look into. It often covers the cost of long-term care either in nursing homes or in the community. Continue reading

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