Most people intend to fully care for their loved ones for as long as possible. However, providing constant care, especially when your own health is declining, may not always be possible. Family members or children are busy with their own lives and are not always available to assist. As a last option, you may consider looking into nursing home care.


To help you pay for nursing home care, the federal government jointly with the states administers the Medicaid program for the needy. Medicaid provides payment for medical coverage for those with low to no income and few assets.


You may have heard that nursing home care is expensive and will most likely deplete all your hard-earned assets. Recent research has revealed that nursing homes in Nevada can cost around $83,403 annually. In order to qualify for Medicaid benefits to pay for nursing home costs, you must have less than $35 of income per month and less than $2,000.00 in assets and be medically eligible for a nursing home. If you own a home, that is an exempt asset for qualifying purposes, but Medicaid will be paid back up to the amount of benefits it provided you and take your home, upon your death.


Qualifying for Medicaid benefits must be completed at least 5 years in advance of applying. You could give your loved ones and yourself the necessary peace of mind by not becoming a burden to your loved ones for your future care, if nursing home care is required, while also preserving all of your own assets.


There are options to pre-planning for Medicaid, including strategic gifts and spending on home improvements. However, the best option is the proper creation and use of Medicaid trusts. With the proper creation of a Medicaid trust, you may be able to transfer your assets to the trust and have them protected so you will not have to pay back Medicaid and instead those assets will go to your loved ones instead, upon your death. The vital point is to start planning early when you have assets to protect, all while still being healthy enough to delay nursing home care for at least 5 years.


If you were unable to pre-plan and are in a disastrous situation with a great need for Medicaid benefits, you may have other options available to you. As might be expected to say, these options would not be as good as if you were able to pre-plan. For example, if you are married, rather than just spending down all your assets to pay for your spouse's medical care, you could pursue a division of assets for Medicaid purposes and protect at least 1/2 of the marital assets. A division of assets could ensure that your spouse receives Medicaid benefits, while preserving some of your assets and income for your well-being.


The attorneys at Law Office of John Park are elder law attorneys and highly experienced in Medicaid and division of assets planning. Call the Law Office of John Park to schedule your appointment to discuss all of your options including: pre-planning for Medicaid benefits with Medicaid trusts, qualifying for Medicaid benefits, assisting with Medicaid applications, Medicaid crisis planning and Medicaid division of assets.