If your loved one is expected to move into a nursing home, it will likely be necessary to apply for Medicaid benefits since nursing home costs now exceed $7,500 per month. Unfortunately, Medicaid is a very complicated area of law and there is lots of misinformation out there. Below are two of the most common Medicaid questions:
- If I add my children’s name to a bank account, will it still be considered a countable asset?
Yes, the entire amount in the account is a countable asset unless you can prove the money was contributed by the other person on the account. This rule applies to cash assets such as:
- Savings and checking accounts
- Credit union share and draft accounts
- Certificates of deposit
- S. Savings Bonds
- Can’t I Just Give My Assets Away?
No, Medicaid law has severe penalties for people who give away assets to become eligible for Medicaid. Even though the federal gifting tax allows you to give away up to $13,000 per year without gift tax consequences, those gifts will result in a period of Medicaid ineligibility. Any gifts made within the past 5 years will result in a denial of benefits.
While the Medicaid gifting rules can make applying for Medicaid extremely difficult, the advice of a qualified elder law attorney can help you protect your loved one’s financial security.