At some point many of us and our loved ones (parents and grandparents) will require long term nursing home care. In Massachusetts there are only three options to pay for long term nursing home costs.
- Self Pay, Approximately $120,000 per Year (average stay is about 3.5 years – $420,000).
- Long Term Care Insurance – Only Limited Amount of Coverage and not everyone can qualify.
- Apply for Medicaid (a/k/a MassHealth, the government pays).
If a married person goes into a nursing home that person can only have $2,000 in assets to qualify for Medicaid and the spouse at home can only have $119,220, plus the house (if under $750,000 in equity) and a car. If they have more money than that they must self pay for the nursing home until they reach those numbers.
If a single person goes into a nursing home that person can only have $2,000 in assets to qualify for Medicaide. If they own a home, Medicaid will place on lien on the home and attempt to recover the money they spent for the nursing home stay when the house is sold.
As people get older they often believe they can give their property away to their loved ones just before going into a nursing home…..This Is Not True! If someone transfer property (House or Money) to anyone within five years of applying for Medicaid that individual or their spouse will not be eligible for Medicaid until that property is returned and used to pay for the nursing home.
THERE ARE THINGS THAT CAN BE DONE TO PROTECT YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES’ HOME AND ASSETS BUT THEY MUST BE DONE FIVE YEARS IN ADVANCE OF NEEDING NURSING HOME CARE – YOU MUST HAVE THE WILL TO PLAN AHEAD! I WILL BE DICSUSSING THESE MEDICAIDE STRATEGIES IN FUTURE BLOGS, BUT IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ABOUT WHAT I HAVE POSTED TODAY PLEASE REPLY.
Merrill J. Atkins, Elder Law Attorney