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My uncle has some assets and a term health care policy. His…

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My uncle has some...

My uncle has some assets and a long term health care policy. His benefits from this policy will run out in less than a year. Can he keep some assets and still be covered by Medicaid?

Accountant's Assistant: The Accountant will know how to help. Please tell me more, so we can help you best.

His investments total around $300,000. His will has that divided among my brother, my sister, me, and one other person. Can he keep that amount and go on Medicaid to pay for his room and board somewhere? He has Medicare and health insurance plus a drug plan through AARP Rx.

Accountant's Assistant: Is there anything else the Accountant should be aware of?

He's 89 years old.

Submitted: 10 months ago.Category: Finance
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Answered in 2 days by:
8/5/2017
Financial Professional: Stephen G., Sr Financial Expert replied 10 months ago
Stephen G.
Stephen G., Sr Financial Expert
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Financial Professional: Stephen G., Sr Financial Expert replied 10 months ago

No, unfortunately, Medicaid qualification requires that his investment type assets are minimal, $2,000. There are certain exceptions the most significant usually a residence. Also, there are strict limits on what assets are countable, for example any gifts, asset transfers, etc. within the 5 year period prior to qualifying for Medicaid are counted as his assets and result in an extended disqualification period. Basically, what it amounts to is that Medicaid expects that you will use up your assets before they will pay for otherwise not covered Medical, Nursing Home expenses.

As you may know, Medicaid is a federally funded program administrated by the states and while most of the rules are comparable, depending upon what state you are in, there may be certain financial planning techniques available to mitigate certain of these "spend down" issues.

Given the size of your uncle's estate, I strongly recommend that you seek the counsel of a Medicaid Planning Attorney in your uncle's state of residence in order that you may explore the alternatives available to your uncle in order to preserve as much of his estate as possible.

You are right to be dealing with this now, as it becomes more difficult with each passing day to implement any effective planning techniques, as the five year "look-back" for a man of 89 doesn't leave a lot of time to waste, as the most effective procedures would require that after their implementation, 5 years would have to expire before any transfers would count just as if your uncle still owned the assets.

Steve G.

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