MEDICAID PLANNING ATTORNEY
LAPORTE COUNTY MEDICAID PLANNING LAWYER
Dealing with Medicaid can be intimidating and frustration. Long term care is very expensive, and some families are thrown into a crisis overnight. Most folks do not realize that Medicaid is not just for people without money. Middle and upper middle-class folks may be able to save their lifetime savings and retirement if they properly plan for potential long term care needs.
Incapacity, sickness and death are difficult subjects for many folks to think about, as a defensive mechanism we always think we can put it off until tomorrow. If we turn on CNN, MSNB or Fox we hear experts talking about the economy, stock market, and how things are going to get back. However, chronic illness, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease are statistically a bigger threat to our family’s financial security.
The problem with the current long term care system in Indiana is that those people with a lot of money have no problem affording nursing home care. At the other end of the spectrum, poor folks have no problem qualifying for Medicaid benefits. The squeeze is on the folks in the middle, the middle class. If you worked all your life, paid for your home, have $50,000 or $100,000 in savings and a retirement or pension, without planning, you may have to spend all your money on nursing home care before Medicaid kicks in and takes over the bills.
A Medicaid planning lawyer has some tools and strategies that can help their clients get assistance for the high costs associated with long term care and not lose everything that they have.
Medical planning attorneys provide folks with peace of mind and control over their assets, while protecting and preserving all they have worked for their entire life.
INDIANA MEDICAID PLANNING ELIGIBILITY ISSUES
Medicaid applicants in Indiana must meet the following to qualify for benefits:
- Must be an Indiana resident
- Must be a US Citizen or Legal Resident Alien
- Income Test: Indiana is an Income Cap state. The Medicaid applicant must earn less than $2,382.00 per month (2021 rate). If the applicant earns more than $2,382.00 and is married, see the discussion of MMMNA. If the applicant cannot divert income to the spouse or is single, then a Qualified Income or Miller Trust is required.
- Asset Test: The asset limit is $2,000.00. There are certain classes of assets that will not counted by Medicaid (exempt assets)
- Needs test: This looks at the applicant’s ability to function or activities of daily living (ADL). The needs test asks, does the applicant need assistance with walking, transferring from a bed or a chair to a standing position, toileting, bathing, feeding, or dressing themselves?
- If 1 ADL requires assistance, the needs test is not met
- If 2 ADLs require assistance, assisted living is appropriate
If 3 or more ADLs require assistance, the applicant meets the needs test for chronic care/nursing home care
- Dementia related diagnoses can automatically qualify the applicant for nursing home care.
Generally, as a Medicaid Planning attorney we assist folks who cannot meet the Medicaid standards because they either have too much income and/or too many assets.
WHAT INFORMATION DO I NEED FOR MY INITIAL VISIT WITH A MEDICAID PLANNING ATTORNEY?
- If you decide to make an appointment with a Medicaid Planning lawyer, you should probably have an idea of your assets and income. At some point in time the lawyer is going to need to see the following information:
- Sources of income including social security income, pensions, and mandatory retirement distributions.
- Financial Information including bank accounts, retirement accounts, and brokerage accounts.
- Estate Planning and Legal Documents including any wills, trusts and/or powers of attorney Insurance policies or at least the declaration of insurance so we can determine if there is a cash value on the insurance policy
- Real estate documents
- Legal documents including any information for partnerships, LLC, or corporations for which you may be a member
- Mortgage payment information, real estate tax, and homeowner’s insurance information
- Utility expenses including NIPSCO, water, sewer, telephone (landline) and garbage.
- If you have any questions about the Medicaid Planning process or if you have a loved one who is ready to go into a nursing home call Guy DiMartino Law at 219.690.8997 to have your questions answered.