How do I prevent medicare from taking my mom's life savings? 21 Answers as of June 18, 2013

My mom had a stroke and long term care is good possibility. I would like to have medicare take over cost when her long term insurance expires if her health does not improve sufficiently to bring her home again. Is there a way to prevent this long term care from taking $60,000 in her name away or to qualify her without considering that money?

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Paul Nidich, Attorney at law
Paul Nidich, Attorney at law | Paul Nidich
You're probably talking about Medicaid. Medicare doesn't recoup money it spends. Your should discuss this with an Elder Law attorney.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 11/14/2012
Irsfeld, Irsfeld & Younger LLP | Norman H. Green
Medicare never takes anybody's savings. It provides health insurance for the elderly. Medi-Cal, on the other hand, provides assistance for medical expenses for the indigent. It is possible for your mother or a court to arrange her affairs so that some of her wealth comes to you instead of being use to provide for her support or to reimburse the government for providing for her support.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/12/2012
Hamblin Law Office | Sally Hamblin
There may be ways. You need to talk to an estate planning attorney. I cannot go into such detail on this site.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/13/2013
Law Offices of Gerald A. Bagazinski
Law Offices of Gerald A. Bagazinski | Gerald A. Bagazinski
An Attorney can assist you with medicaid planning.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/18/2013
Martin Barnes - Attorney at Law
Martin Barnes - Attorney at Law | Martin Barnes
Thank you for your very thoughtful question. I recognize that your question focused on Medicare, however Medicaid may be the program that you will ultimately turn to for assistance with your mother's long term care needs. Medicaid recovery is a complicated matter and I advise you to seek the assistance of an Indiana attorney that specializes in serving the needs of the elderly. There are several attorneys that are highly qualified in this area of the law.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 11/10/2012
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
    Unfortunately there is a 5 year look back on transfers of funds without value for medicare purposes. So if her long term care will last 5 years, transfer the funds out of her name now. otherwise planning might be too late.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/10/2012
    The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, P.A.
    The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, P.A. | Laurie E. Ohall
    Medicaid, not Medicare, pays for long term care in skilled nursing. Medicare only pays for the first 100 days, after which, if you do not have long term care insurance or cannot privately pay, you would apply for Medicaid. Be aware that there is a fiver year look-back period for transferring/gifting assets (unless you follow the rules for transfers which Medicaid allows). I would advise you to seek the help of an elder law attorney who can help you figure out how to preserve as much of your mother's assets as possible.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/9/2012
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    No there is not. Medicare is limited to what it can pay. Once Medicare gives out, Medicaid is an option, however you have to prove your mother to be indigent. Having the $60,000 will *not* help. Any monies that are transferred out of your mother's name, will look like fraud to Medicaid and she will not qualify. I believe any monies or property should have been transferred from your mother to another person three years prior before medicaid will qualify her.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/9/2012
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    I believe that you are referring to Medicaid, not Medicare. It is important to speak with an experienced attorney who can review the options and possibilities. Depending upon how long her long term care is, it may be possible. However, each State is different and so are long term care policies this it is important to seek qualified legal counsel to address the options, sooner rather than later.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 11/9/2012
    Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
    That is a difficult question to answer without more information. There is a medicare look back period for transfers of assets from your mother. Depending on her status and assets, it may not be possible. You should definitely meet with an attorney as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 11/9/2012
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    Probably not. BTW, it's Medicaid you're thinking of, not Medicare. Very different programs. Medicaid is a program designed for the poor, so you have to spend all your own money on care, and then, once you're poor, you qualify. If you have been a caregiver for your mother, you may be able to be paid for giving care, or it may be possible for you to take title to her house. See a good elder law attorney to find out if there are any options.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 11/9/2012
    Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
    Only if you are lucky enough to make the change now and not need care during the 60 month look back period. You should consult an estate planning attorney with experience in medical planning.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/9/2012
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    The money your mother has accumulated is for her care and not your inheritance, and should be used for her care so she does not become a burden on the taxpayers who may have to supplement her long term care insurance by paying for additional care costs.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/9/2012
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    First of all, it is Medicaid you are concerned about, not Medicare. Medicare is a health insurance program for seniors. It does not pay for long term care. Medicaid is the welfare program that pays long term care costs for someone who cannot pay for themselves. Your summary mentions long term care insurance. That could have a dramatic impact on the need (or even the qualification for) Medicaid. More information is needed before any additional guidance can be provided.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/9/2012
    The Mills Law Office LLC
    The Mills Law Office LLC | Darren J Mills
    Medicare is not the main social insurance program for long-term care. Medicad is a federal program administered by the states and the largest source of funding for long-term care. Since Medicad is state administered, in NJ for example, a representative (usually in the county where your mother lives) will determine Medicad eligibility. A professional, such an Elder Law attorney, can help with the application process. However, in NJ, with $60,000 in assets your mother is not going to qualify for Medicad initially. With the cost of nursing home care it won't take long (generally less than 12-months) to utilize those assets. Also, your mother cannot (assuming capacity to even do it) simply gift the $60,000 as there is a 60 month look back period that could result in a penalty (i.e., loss of Medicad benefits). NJ will also attempt to re-coup Medicad paid out generally by putting a lien on the recipient?s house (as that is usually the only asset left). There are planning techniques available depending on the facts and circumstances to help prevent the total loss of all the assets.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 11/9/2012
    The Center for Elder Law
    The Center for Elder Law | Don Rosenberg
    Absolutely, contact an elder law attorney such as myself.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/9/2012
    Byers & Goulding, PLC | Andrew Byers
    Yes, but this is an area where you need an elder law attorney who is experienced with Medicaid planning. Your mother may be able to save at least half of her savings. Medicare will only pay for up to 100 days of rehab. in the nursing home. The program you need to be concerned about for long-term care is Medicaid.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/9/2012
    TrustCounsel | Gregory Herman-Giddens
    Medicare does not pay for long-term care. Medicaid will pay for long-term care, but the majority of one's assets must be spent down first. The government does not "take" one's assets, but only provides care for the truly needy. I highly recommend consulting with an elder law attorney to see if any of your mother's assets can be preserved.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 11/9/2012
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC | Barry D. Broome
    To protect an estate from Medicaid recovery the person must do so 60 months prior to applying for the benefit. Your financial plan is not complete until it is co-ordinated with your estate plan. Will your family be provided for when you are gone? Without a Will, the court will decide.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/9/2012
    Whiteford, Taylor, & Preston | Edwin Fee
    You mean Medicaid (not Medicare), and you need to consult an elder law attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 11/9/2012
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