McHugh & Macri
Menu Contact
Certified Elder Law Attorneys Serving New Jersey Residents Since 1978.

medicaid planning and asset protection Archives

Qualified income trusts can be part of Medicaid planning

Medicaid benefits can be very important for those who need long-term care, but applicants must have a limited income in order to qualify. New Jersey residents in such situations may fear that they will be ineligible for Medicaid, because their income is too high. However, there are means for a person to retain income in a way that still allows them to qualify for Medicaid.

An irrevocable trust may be part of Medicaid planning for some

As our nation's population ages, more and more people will need care in their older years. Whether they choose in-home care, an assisted living facility or a traditional nursing home, paying for such care can easily deplete a person's financial resources. Some people in New Jersey may assume that when the time comes, they'll utilize Medicaid to pay for their long-term care needs. The issue with this is that a person must have little in the way of "countable assets," the amount of which is set by the state, in order to qualify for Medicaid. This means that before they can start using Medicaid to pay for their long-term care needs, they will need to have exhausted nearly all their other sources of assets and income. This could be problematic if a person was hoping to leave an inheritance to loved ones.

Using estate planning for asset protection

Many people in East Hanover may be planning for the fact that they may eventually need to enter a nursing home. While they may put a lot of thought into which facility would provide them with the best quality of care, they also will have to consider how they will pay for nursing home care. And nursing homes aren't cheap. A 2012 survey reported that, depending on where they are located, a stay in a nursing home could cost anywhere from $6,600 to $15,000 monthly. This is a huge expense that must be accounted for.

Changes to Medicaid requirements may affect Medicaid planning

Many people in New Jersey rely on the availability of Medicaid services to allow them to pay for their health care both now or in the future. However, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued guidelines regarding states' rights to make it mandatory for certain people who receive Medicaid benefits to work in order to keep receiving benefits. This is a big departure from how the Medicaid and Medicare programs have operated in the past. For example, under these guidelines, if a person does not have a disability and is of a working age, then in order to receive benefits the state could require that person to get a job, volunteer or go back to school. Caregiving may fulfill this requirement.

Spouses may be protected when their partner applies for Medicaid

Many married senior citizens in New Jersey are relying on Medicaid to pay for their medical and care needs once they are unable to take care of themselves on their own. However, they may be concerned that their assets will be depleted if one spouse needs to enter a nursing home, leaving the healthy spouse with nothing. However, it may be possible for the healthy spouse to keep certain assets, even if the other spouse applies for Medicaid funds to pay for nursing home care.

What nursing facility care must a person in New Jersey pay for?

As they age, some people in New Jersey will have to be in the care of a nursing facility. Nursing facilities that are Medicaid certified primarily provide residents with skilled nursing services, rehabilitation necessary for the resident to recover from an ailment and long-term care that goes beyond simply a place to live.

Could New Jersey residents benefit from changes to Medicaid?

New Jersey residents may be interested to learn that in a recent development, the states that opted for Medicaid expansions during the Obama administration may have more leniency over which residents can be included under their programs. Medicaid expansions used to be an all-or-nothing arrangement. States choosing to expand Medicaid were required to provide coverage to those who earned up to 138 percent of the poverty level set by the federal government. However, the Trump administration is considering whether to permit two states to provide coverage solely to individuals whose earnings match or are less than the poverty line. This might encourage states that have not yet expanded Medicaid to do so.

Medicaid planning can help many afford nursing home care

While no one can predict the future, what many in New Jersey can at least anticipate is that some day they may need to enter a nursing home. This presents a problem for many -- they know they may some day need nursing home care, but their savings (if any) will not allow them to afford a very long stay. Fortunately, the federal government offers a program, Medicaid, which will cover the costs of nursing home care for those who are eligible.

Understanding the Medicaid 'look-back period' in New Jersey

Many people in East Hanover may anticipate that eventually they will need nursing home care. Some of these people are relying on Medicaid benefits to cover the costs of a nursing home, which can be substantial. However, in order to qualify for such a benefit for nursing home care, there is a limit to how much a beneficiary can have in property and income.

What is the 'caretaker child' exemption in Medicaid planning?

As many adults in New Jersey can attest, caring for an aging parent is a great act of love, but it is also a significant undertaking. Sometimes, an adult child even needs to set their career aside in order to care for their parent's daily needs. Parents understand how hard caregiving can be, and they may want to find some way to compensate their adult child for the care they selflessly give. One option they may have is to transfer ownership of their home to their child. Not only can this compensate the child for the sacrifices made, but it is also a way to preserve Medicaid eligibility through what is referred to as the "caretaker child" exemption.

McHugh & Macri
49 Ridgedale Avenue
Suite 1
East Hanover, NJ 07936

Phone: 973-577-6010
Fax: 973-887-6237
Map & Directions