Medicaid Rule Changes Seem Painful

The rules impacting nursing home confinements and asset protection guidelines continue to evolve. Though most of you have heard that the look-back period (the historic timeframe within which the system asks about asset transfers before Medicaid application) has been increased to five years, it is unfortunately only one of the changes.

Here are some other provisions:

* Asset transfers which occurred during the five years prior to Medicaid application will likely prevent you from receiving state assistance for many months. The number of months you would wait for state help (the so-called penalty period) will be based upon the value of the transfers made
* Those of you who own an annuity may regret it. For annuities to be most beneficial under the Medicaid microscope, very specific criteria must be observed. The state can actually take become your primary beneficiary if the rules are not followed. That is, it will stand to recover monies paid on your behalf directly from your annuities, presumably in lieu of your children.
* Those with home equity in excess of $828,000 may be denied benefits.

Other changes have also been enacted and of course, more details for the above are available. But suffice it to say that the changes have drastically altered planning strategies which means you should revisit this aspect of your financial plan. If you are exploring Medicaid Planning or currently own an annuity, I would strongly suggest that you give us a call.