Most people know very little about Medicaid, and as a result, have various misconceptions about how it works. Here to get to the bottom of some of these common Medicaid myths are the elder law attorneys at Solomon, Steiner & Peck, Ltd.
Getting to the Bottom on Common Medicaid Myths
The following are some of the most common myths about Medicaid and the facts behind them.
Myth: Medicaid pays for the nursing home entirely, allowing you to keep your regular income.
The simple truth is that most of your income will go to the nursing home. Medicaid will pay the difference between your income and the overall cost.
Myth: Medicare will pay for all of your nursing home costs.
Medicare will only pay up to 100 days in a nursing home. The rest is covered out of your pocket. However, you can avoid losing all of your income to medical care though proper Medicaid planning. Asset protection tools, such as trusts and gifting, allow you to preserve assets for future generations and retain Medicaid eligibility.
Myth: Medicaid planning can only be done before going into a nursing home.
It is never too late to start Medicaid planning. At Solomon, Steiner & Peck, Ltd., we can help you and your family organize assets properly. There are many available asset protection options that can be completed on short notice.
Myth: You do not need a lawyer for Medicaid planning.
Many nursing homes and assisted living centers have social workers that can help you apply for Medicaid. However, these people are not necessarily your advocates. They may not understand all of the resources available to prevent a denial of benefits. As an experienced Medicaid planning team, we have a firm understanding of the application process and how to avoid complications that can lead to denials.
Myth: Putting money in your spouse’s name will ensure you qualify for Medicaid.
Both spouses’ income and assets are considered when determining Medicaid eligibility. Contact our firm to discuss asset protection strategies for married couples.
Myth: Medicaid rules are stagnant, and the same rules that worked for someone years ago will now apply to you.
The Medicaid rules and process are constantly changing. An attorney can help explain the new rules and how they apply to your situation.
Myth: Only impoverished people qualify for Medicaid.
People with significant assets can qualify for Medicaid by utilizing the financial and asset protection strategies available to them. A Medicaid planning lawyer can help you decide which tools are best for your situation.
Myth: A person cannot receive Medicaid benefits for five years after transferring their assets.
While this is true in some cases, there are Medicaid plans that reduce or eliminate this period. We will explain the waiting period and develop a plan that works best for you and your family.
Myth: Assets in a living trust are protected from nursing home costs.
Assets in a living trust are not protected from nursing home costs. However, other types of trusts may protect your assets. We will help you decide which trust, if any, best meets your financial goals.
Myth: If you enter a nursing home paying out-of-pocket, you will need to wait for an available Medicaid bed in order to start paying through your benefits.
This is simply not true. If your nursing home accepts Medicaid, you can switch payment methods at almost any time.
Myth: Hiding assets is a good way to ensure Medicaid eligibility.
You should never intentionally hide assets. It may result in criminal penalties. Our Medicaid attorneys will advise you on legal options that both protect your assets and maintain eligibility for benefits.
Learn more about Medicaid facts and myths by contacting Solomon, Steiner & Peck, Ltd. You can call us at 216-245-0185 or contact us online. From four locations, our lawyers assist clients with asset protection and Medicaid planning throughout northeastern Ohio.