Medicaid: A Lifeline for the Middle Class

20862426_lAccording the Long Term Care Community Coalition, many people are unaware of the vital support Medicaid provides to millions of middle class families.  Here are few areas in which Medicaid provides essential support:

  1. Financial Security for Nursing Home Residents. The majority of nursing home care is paid for by Medicaid.  Without Medicaid, many middle class families would not be able to provide the necessary care for their loved ones.
  2. Care and Support for Older Adults. The demand for caregivers is increasing as the population of older adults – particularly those over age 80 – increases.
  3. Care for Those With Dementia. Medicaid makes it possible to care for the growing numbers of Americans who suffer from Alzheimer’s.
  4. Maintaining Life in the Community. For many seniors and disabled persons, Medicaid is the only option for care in the community.

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Updated Medicaid Figures for 2017

20862426_lIn past issues of the Elder Law Today, we have explained how the Medicaid laws work for married couples when one spouse needs nursing home care.  The Spousal Impoverishment Provisions make it clear that the Medicaid program does not intend to impoverish one spouse because the other requires nursing home care. Much of this is based on the spend down of assets and what asset levels must be met before the nursing home spouse qualifies.

The law states that for a married couple, the at-home spouse is entitled to keep a minimum amount of money with no spend down.  The minimal spousal share effective January 1, 2017 is $24,180.00.  In addition, the nursing home spouse may keep $2,000.00.  In other words, for a married couple with $26,180 (plus $2,000 for the nursing home spouse), there will be no spend down.   [Read more…]

New Rules for Nursing Homes

46637337 - elder man and carer in the parkAbout 1.4 million people living in nursing homes across the nation can now be more involved in their care due to new regulations that became effective in November.  As discussed in the Washington Post (“New rules give nursing home residents’ more power”), the regulations reflect a shift towards more patient centered care. Here are a few highlights: [Read more…]

Medicaid Estate Recovery in Michigan

On January 12, the Michigan Supreme Court heard oral arguments on multiple cases relating to the issue of Medicaid estate recovery. The hearing was the culmination of years of litigation in lower courts throughout the state.  While many lower courts ruled in favor of the estates of individuals who received Medicaid benefits, the Court of Appeals often sided with state – and in my opinion – contrary to the law.  [Read more…]

Medicaid and Assisted Living

With assisted living facilities costing on average between $3500 to $5000 per month, paying for such care can be a real challenge.  Because assisted living facilities in Michigan do not accept Medicaid as payment for room and board, often children have to use their own personal funds to help when their parent’s assets are depleted.  [Read more…]