Tips and Tricks of Applying for Medicaid

This is general advice and may not apply to every situation.  It is no substitute for consultation with an attorney and should not be considered legal advice. Please contact the Family First Lawfirm if you have questions, concerns or to setup a consultation with our team!

  • The spouse who is not receiving Medicaid should update their Will and all beneficiary designations to disinherit the spouse who is to receive Medicaid. If the healthy spouse dies first, the spouse under Medicaid will be kicked off of Medicaid when they receive inheritance until all of the inheritance is spent.
  • To avoid estate recovery add beneficiary designations sometimes called TODs (Transfer on Death) to bank accounts, brokerage accounts, etc.
  • You can gift up to $500 per month TOTAL, NOT per person. This may be done even after receiving Medicaid.
  • Unpaid medical bills with service dates prior to Medicaid eligibility may deducted from Nursing Home bill costs as OMEs. See the factsheet titled “The Basics of Other Medical Expenses (OMEs).”
  • You can keep your supplemental health insurance while on Medicaid. The premium is deductible from your patient pay liability.
  • You are entitled to free home modifications (paid by the government) if you are eligible for Medicaid but choose to remain in your home rather than enter a facility.
  • You are eligible for Medicaid if you want to receive skilled care in your home.
  • You are eligible to receive Medicaid in assisted living (however not personal care). Always review an assisted living personal care agreement beforehand as they often consider it a violation of contract if gifting. Gifting is often a key component of Medicaid planning, therefore consult an attorney before signing such an agreement.
  • Medicaid applications can be submitted up to three months after the Medicaid eligibility date and are retroactive to that date.
  • The non-applicant spouse’s IRA and income are exempt from consideration or availability towards the cost of care.
  • Life insurance with a cash value could be an available asset for Medicaid eligibility.

About Medicaid

Medicaid planning is a fairly general term that can refer to any preparation done before completing a Medicaid application. A more complicated case might involve completely restructuring your financial assets so that the application process goes smoothly. In many cases, senior citizens aren’t able to qualify for Medicaid until after they’ve depleted their own personal funds. However, advanced Medicaid planning can help you or your family member qualify for Medicaid quickly after entering a nursing home, allowing for comfortable living and potentially saving your family’s finances.