Elder Law & Medicaid
Elder Law is a specialized area of law practice that focuses on solving the problems faced by our seniors. Elder Law practices are either focused on litigation (like suing nursing homes) or on planning (making a plan so that you can live how you want to live, where you want to live for as long as you live without running out of money or being a burden on your kids and still take care of your family).
The first step is understanding the cost and options for where you live. Most of my clients discover that there are benefits available to them that they never knew about.
You may think you’ll never need Medicaid. Take a look at our calculation – you might want to plan for it, just in case. How expensive will your long term care be?
The average stay at an assisted living home is 7 years with a private pay rate of approximately $5,500 (which is increasing each year)
2. The average stay at a skilled nursing home is 3 years with a private pay rate of approximately $10,000
3. Add that up and you get $750,000 per individual if you are paying out of your own savings (that’s what private pay means).
Yikes! If that number scares you, don’t worry. Many Americans don’t have the savings, income and long-term care insurance adequate to pay for their care privately for the rest of their lives.
What does that mean? Are you going to have to go into a nursing home? Not necessarily. Georgia Medicaid ahs a program that provides in home care – that is caregivers who come to your home. Unlike the VA Improved Pension Benefit which provides cash money to the applicant, Medicaid’s EDWP program described below provides seniors with needs for assistance with basic activities of daily living with actual caregivers. There are other programs for individuals under the age of 21 which you can read about by clicking here.
Medicaid Estate Claim – How Georgia Medicaid can take your home.
This is the Monster in the Closet for grownups.
Did you know that Georgia Medicaid can make a claim on your probate estate for reimbursement of caregiving costs? Medicaid pays $6,800 per month for skilled nursing care. Multiply that by the average of a 3 year stay and you get $244,800 that Medicaid to ask to be reimbursed when you die. Many people begin receiving Medicaid benefits at home even before they reach the stage where they need skilled nursing.
While Medicaid reimbursement can be deferred until the second spouse dies, the home is often the largest asset in an estate and an asset parents want to give to their children or sell and use some of the proceeds for their own care at their own pace and based on their own need. For the maximum protection, we use Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts (MAP Trust) which give the family the most protection from Medicaid and for their own plan for caring for their loved ones.
Children with aging parents LOVE the MAP Trust because they can position their parents to receive the maximum benefits and give their parents the opportunity to live their best lives keeping their parents’ standard of living and quality of life at what their parents’ would consider “normal.”
And you don’t have to spend all your savings to qualify! Yes, I said that you do not have to spend all your savings to qualify for Medicaid. Wouldn’t it help to know that you can get some of the caregiving costs covered by Medicaid without having to be destitute? Yes!
Call us, we can help you create a plan that allows you to save as much of your savings as possible and still be able to qualify for Medicaid benefits. Whether you are planning more than 5 years before needing Medicaid benefits (where we can save 100% of your savings) or you are planning less than 5 years before you need Medicaid benefits (where we can save ½ or a little more of your savings), we can help. Don’t miss out on benefits that can save you thousands.