Many people are afraid that they will end up in a nursing home because their family cannot provide the level of care they require as they get older. Not only does this mean losing the autonomy of living at home but it means spending all, or most, of one’s lifetime of savings. In 2011, a typical nursing home in the Maryland and D.C. area can cost over $100,000 a year. That cost is expected to continue to rise. For many people, this cost means that their savings will quickly run out and they will have to rely on government programs such as Medicaid. People who do not need immediate long-term care are in the best position to protect the maximum amount of assets. The law provides several ways to do this prior to Medicaid’s five (5) year look-back period. The “look-back” is a period of time (currently five years) during which the State of Maryland has the legal right to review your financial records and determine what, if any, transfers you have made for less than fair market value (i.e., gifts). If you have made any gifts during this “look back” period, then the State may impose a penalty period before benefits will be paid. Medicaid planning can help avoid, or minimize, this penalty period, during which you must pay with your own funds.
Even if there is a penalty period imposed, Medicaid planning can help you cure and/or reduce that penalty period, and save many of your assets through a variety of techniques.
Your best strategy is to consult with our experienced Medicaid attorneys who can advise you on how you can save your hard-earned assets and provide longer and better care for you or your loved one.