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MDS Law Ohio

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Simplifying Medicaid And Nursing Home Planning For You

The sooner you begin long-term care planning, the more secure you can feel as you approach your golden years. By preparing financially in case you or your spouse ever need a nursing home or other long-term care facility, you set yourself up for a simpler, more predictable future.

At MDSLaw Ohio, we serve the good people of Marietta, Washington County, and the surrounding region of Ohio. We understand how overwhelming and confusing it can feel when navigating Medicaid. We are experienced, caring attorneys who can guide you through the system, counsel you on how to become eligible for benefits and help you plan for your potential long-term care needs.

Making Sure You Qualify For Medicaid

Strict limits apply to your assets and income if you wish to receive Ohio Medicaid. Still, with proactive estate planning, you can take steps to qualify without spending down your estate unnecessarily. Some of your options include:

  • Setting up Medicaid asset protection trusts
  • Gifting money strategically
  • Donating money to charity
  • Other asset allocation strategies

We will sit down with you and build a close relationship with you. We will learn about your financial situation and your goals so that we can come up with the best strategy for you. Then, we will take practical steps to implement it.

Why Should You Have A Medicaid Lawyer?

Medicaid regulations change constantly. It is crucial to have a Medicaid and elder law attorney who stays up to date on every development so that you comply with the law, know your rights and understand the procedures. If Medicaid denies your application, then your attorney will help you file an appeal. With a lawyer, you also have someone who can help you maximize your Medicaid benefits and even advise you about other sources of benefits.

Step-By-Step Process Of Applying For Medicaid

Navigating the Medicaid process can be tedious and confusing, but with trusted legal guidance it doesn’t have to be.

Step 1 – Timing: The first step in the Medicaid process is figuring out the timing, which is not always obvious. It is important to apply only when you know you are likely to qualify and when you meet all the eligibility requirements in Ohio. This is not always immediately necessary or advisable when your spouse or other loved one is moving into an assisted living facility. These are among the questions to ask a Medicaid attorney. An experienced Marietta, Ohio, Medicaid planning attorney can give you practical advice on timing and other considerations.

Step 2 – Financial Review: There are several methods for reducing your income and financial resources to qualify and the process often begins years before nursing home care becomes necessary.

Step 3 – Apply: Once you determine that it is time to file, your application will go to the Ohio Department of Medicaid, which administers the state’s federal Medicaid program. You can also create an account on the federal Health Insurance Marketplace website and fill out an application there to see if you or a family member qualifies. Medicaid planning involves qualifying based on being a low-income adult, but other factors that impact eligibility include your age, the number of people in your family and whether you are disabled.

Step 4 – Approval: Your application is then reviewed. If you get approved for coverage, Medicaid will pay for part or all of the nursing home care, as well as hospital stays and other medical care.

Step 5 – Maintaining Qualification: You will need to complete a renewal every 12 months to prove you still qualify for Medicaid assistance. Your Ohio Medicaid lawyer can help you with both the initial application and renewal forms. If your application or renewal is denied, your attorney will guide you through the appeals process.

Frequently Asked Questions About Medicaid

For Ohio seniors and caregivers, facing the reality of long-term care is crucial. With 70% of seniors needing long-term care, advance planning becomes essential for families. To help you get started, here are answers to some of the top questions we hear:

What counts as income for Medicaid in Ohio?

Ohio’s income encompasses wages, salaries, tips, self-employment earnings, rental income, dividends, interest and more. Certain retirement income contributions and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits may be exempt.

Do I have to give up all my assets to qualify for Medicaid?

Contrary to common belief, you don’t need to deplete all your assets to qualify for Ohio Medicaid. A knowledgeable Medicaid attorney in Marietta can offer extensive legal guidance to determine your asset limits for eligibility.

If I transfer assets to a loved one, does that disqualify me from Medicaid?

Asset transfers are subject to a lot of rules, so they have to be handled carefully. Medicaid planning strategies can help you protect your loved one’s inheritance without disqualification.

Do I have to give up my home to be on Medicaid?

You can sign a sworn statement confirming your intent to return home. This ensures Medicaid doesn’t consider your home a countable resource.

What about my spouse if they live in the same home?

Spousal protections exist to safeguard the community home’s resident spouse during Medicaid eligibility. This is an area where working with an Ohio Medicaid attorney is key.

Will the state of Ohio take my home after I pass away?

While Medicaid may seek repayment from the estate, protective measures can be implemented by an experienced Ohio Medicaid attorney to protect your home for your loved ones.

Does Medicaid cover all my health care needs and nursing home costs?

Usually, whatever income you have – such as Social Security retirement – will be used to pay for your long-term care needs first, and then Medicaid covers the rest.

Start Your Planning Today

If you are taking the first step in long-term care planning, reach out to MDSLaw Ohio today. You will receive the guidance you need from a compassionate legal team. To request a consultation, please call 740-923-4235 or send us an email.