There is a lot of misinformation regarding the Medicaid rules. Much of this caused by often well-meaning individuals – friends, family, neighbors, etc. – who offer their Medicaid advice. Sadly, their advice is often wrong and with nursing homes costing on average over $8200.00 per month, such misinformation can cause significant financial hardship. To help protect yourself and your loved ones, here are some common Medicaid myths:
- Myth – Medicare will pay my nursing home bill. Medicare will only pay for a maximum of 100 days of skilled care.
- Myth – Medicaid will take my home. The home is an exempt asset under the Medicaid rules. However, after the death of a Medicaid recipient, the Medicaid agency can file a claim for reimbursement against the recipient’s probate estate.
- Myth – the assets of my spouse are not counted. All assets owned by a married couple – whether owned individually or jointly – are counted. This is true even if the couple is legally separated or has a prenuptial agreement.
- Myth – I can give away $10,000 per year. This is the gift tax exemption and it does not apply to Medicaid. The gift tax exemption is now $14,000 per year, per person. However, any gift (except for a few exceptions) will result in a penalty under the Medicaid rules.
- Myth – I can hide assets. Medicaid fraud is a crime. While there are legal strategies available to protect assets, hiding assets is not permissible.
The Medicaid rules are complicated and often misunderstood. Protect yourself and your family by seeking the assistance of an experienced elder law attorney. It may just help you avoid a significant financial mistake.