The Deficit Reduction Act signed by President Bush in 2008 created many problems from nursing homes and their families. This is primarily because under the rules created by this Act, the penalty period for any gift made in the past 5 years does not begin until the resident is in the nursing home and already spent down their assets.
Once assets are spent down to Medicaid limits, few residents will have the means to afford care during their penalty period. Unfortunately, the Medicaid Hardship Waiver rarely helps seniors receive the care they need. This is because it is almost impossible to qualify for the hardship waiver.
This is why it is so important to plan ahead. An experience elder law attorney should review Medicaid applications a month or two before filing so that any potential problems can be identified. If necessary, proper steps can be taken so that your loved one is never in a situation where they cannot pay for their necessary care.