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PDtax
PDtax, CPA, MBA
Category: Finance
Satisfied Customers: 1982
Experience:  Tax professional and business consultant for 32 years.
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WITH APOLOGIES TO THE ATTORNEYS - Im never given another choice,

Resolved Question:

WITH APOLOGIES TO THE ATTORNEYS - I'm never given another choice, for some unknown reason! I DO NOT NEED AN ATTORNEY FOR THIS QUESTION: SEE BELOW.

I NEED A FINANCIAL ADVISOR, WHO HAS AN UNDERSTANDING OF "TRUSTS", and hopefully Medicaid. Bullet Points may work best:
* In 2008, I was the unfortunate victim of a careless spine surgeon. I am a divorced, then 61 year old woman, with only Medicare. I was financially wiped out, including my house.
* In 2010, I initiated a medical malpractice lawsuit, but was given little hope, as the truth was evident, but difficult to "prove".
* In 2011, I began to receive some help and support from the state, in my new home with family, in Colorado. I was approved for Medicaid and foodstamps (I had to swallow my pride). The Medicaid paid my Medicare insurance premium, it paid all medical expenses not covered by Medicare.
* In 2012, Medicaid, accepted me into the Longterm Care Policy: right now I have Life Alert and some medical supplies (I have nine titanium rods in my spine and stabilizing plates on each pelvic bone). Down the road, I would have residency at a skilled nursing facility. SUCH PEACE OF MIND, FOR A CHANGE! DOWNSIDE: all Medicaid benefits are in Colorado only.
* In May 2013, I found out that I had been awarded about $160,000 settlement money from my lawsuit. First, great joy!! Then, the realization I would become instantly ineligible for Medicaid. I found one "out": at my age, I was eligible for one Trust - a "Pooled Trust". I would put my settlement money into the Pooled Trust, AND keep my Medicaid benefits. It is run by Medicaid. You put your settlement in a fund with everyone else's: you must apply for the things you wish your money for; if you die before it is all spent, the remainder ALL goes to Medicaid, NOT your family.
* The Pooled Trust would keep me from my one dream of setting up small college fund-starters for my grandbabies; also no cash to buy a thing - even a new washing machine - the trust writes a check directly to the payee. You never get to touch your own money.
* I chose to take my money, invest it safely, and then buy private Medigap insurance, to be paid automatically from a dedicated back account. Then I'd be able to travel and see my grandchildren!!; maybe buy a used car; still being responsible.
* Today I was denied for a Medigap policy by Anthemn, because I got cluster headaches 15 years ago. I was denied by AARP because a doctor's list of suggested treatments for a bad ankle would be surgery, with one hospital overnight. I have an application into AETNA - the most expensive. They can't tell me for 10 days and I loose Medicaid August 31st.
This settlement is a small amount. It's not enough to support me the rest of my life, God willing! When it is gone, I can reapply for my Medicaid benefits, with no guarantees. I am completely devasted that I made a terrible decision!!! Did I??? HONESTLY???!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Finance
Expert:  PDtax replied 1 year ago.

PDtax :

Hi from Just Answer. You did not make a bad decision. You made the decision that worked for you, and will work out, as I see it.

PDtax :

Accepting the funds in your name allows you the autonomy to spend as you see fit, then reapply for benefits when your funds run out. You will be approved, especially if you don't show up to apply in a new car and talking about how Vegas sure is hot this time of year. While there are no guarantees, the settlement funds, once exhausted, do not disqualify you for benefits. While you have some resources, you may want to plan for your future, such as what facility you may want to live in when it's time.

PDtax :

Many facilities ask for an enrollment fee up front, then agree to accept Medicaid/Social Security for the monthly 'rent' going forward. Without that down payment, you may be placed on a waiting list for a facility willing to accept you for those benefits only. These are normally less desirable facilities.

PDtax :

To review your decision, it wasn't a bad one. Pay for whatever insurance or care you need, and make sure you reserve out the funds needed for future enrollment in a facility. If you give gifts in advance of claiming Medicaid, keep in mind there is a five year look back period that Medicaid will use to insure you did not give everything away to qualify for benefits, so gifts for the grandbabies or other transfers must be done with a plan not to need nursing home care for at least five years.

PDtax :

The elder care attorney I used to work with for nursing home and medicare/medicaid issues has retired, but he used to tell me that $20,000 was a good number in cash to insure enrollment in a facility of your choosing. I suspect that number is XXXXX now. When you call places, ask them how much $ is will take to guarantee a life spot there. Don't tell them how much you have, or that will be the number you need.

PDtax :

To close, you did not make a bad decision. I think you made a very good one that worked for you. You could have set up your own trust, called a special needs trust, that would have done very much the same thing, but you would have had more control. Legal and trustee fees might have eaten away some of the $, but your plan will work out just fine.

PDtax :

Thanks for asking your question at Just Answer. I am not an elder care attorney, but I am a CPA with experience in this area. Thanks for allowing me to assist, and good luck as you proceed. I'm PDtax.

PDtax, CPA, MBA
Category: Finance
Satisfied Customers: 1982
Experience: Tax professional and business consultant for 32 years.
PDtax and 5 other Finance Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  PDtax replied 1 year ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

What happens now?

If you haven’t already done so, please rate your answer above. Or, you can reply to me using the box below.
Expert:  PDtax replied 1 year ago.
Hi David,

It was reported that you could not see my response in chat form. Here it is in Q & A...

Hi from Just Answer. You did not make a bad decision. You made the decision that worked for you, and will work out, as I see it.
7:15 AM

Accepting the funds in your name allows you the autonomy to spend as you see fit, then reapply for benefits when your funds run out. You will be approved, especially if you don't show up to apply in a new car and talking about how Vegas sure is hot this time of year. While there are no guarantees, the settlement funds, once exhausted, do not disqualify you for benefits. While you have some resources, you may want to plan for your future, such as what facility you may want to live in when it's time.
7:18 AM

Many facilities ask for an enrollment fee up front, then agree to accept Medicaid/Social Security for the monthly 'rent' going forward. Without that down payment, you may be placed on a waiting list for a facility willing to accept you for those benefits only. These are normally less desirable facilities.
7:21 AM

To review your decision, it wasn't a bad one. Pay for whatever insurance or care you need, and make sure you reserve out the funds needed for future enrollment in a facility. If you give gifts in advance of claiming Medicaid, keep in mind there is a five year look back period that Medicaid will use to insure you did not give everything away to qualify for benefits, so gifts for the grandbabies or other transfers must be done with a plan not to need nursing home care for at least five years.
7:23 AM

The elder care attorney I used to work with for nursing home and medicare/medicaid issues has retired, but he used to tell me that $20,000 was a good number in cash to insure enrollment in a facility of your choosing. I suspect that number is XXXXX now. When you call places, ask them how much $ is will take to guarantee a life spot there. Don't tell them how much you have, or that will be the number you need.
7:25 AM

To close, you did not make a bad decision. I think you made a very good one that worked for you. You could have set up your own trust, called a special needs trust, that would have done very much the same thing, but you would have had more control. Legal and trustee fees might have eaten away some of the $, but your plan will work out just fine.
7:27 AM

Thanks for asking your question at Just Answer. I am not an elder care attorney, but I am a CPA with experience in this area. Thanks for allowing me to assist, and good luck as you proceed. I'm PDtax.
PDtax, CPA, MBA
Category: Finance
Satisfied Customers: 1982
Experience: Tax professional and business consultant for 32 years.
PDtax and 5 other Finance Specialists are ready to help you

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