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Medicaid Planning

If you find that you need to enter a nursing home or assisted living facility, it may surprise you to learn that Medicare won’t pay for more than 100 days of care under specific circumstances. The only government program that will cover the costs of nursing home care is Medicaid.

The Commonwealth Life & Legacy Counsel team knows the complexities of Medicaid crisis planning when clients who never planned to need Medicaid now require state assistance. They can help you qualify for Medicaid and offer you and your family peace of mind about paying for long-term care.

The Costs of Long-term Care in Virginia

According to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the 2021 cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home in Virginia was $98,550, while the cost of a private room was $109,865. Those rates increased 7.14% and 3.79% over the previous year, respectively.

Additionally, the cost of an assisted living facility was $63,000 in 2021, up 8.25% from 2020. Many families can’t afford the costs of long-term care necessary for their senior family members. An elder law attorney experienced in Medicaid crisis planning can help in such cases.

The Medicaid Application Process

While you can apply for Medicaid online or by completing a paper application to submit with your local Department of Social Services office, you will need to qualify for Medicaid to get approved.

If you are eligible for Medicaid, your income and asset requirements must fall below a certain level depending on whether you apply as a single person, married with both spouses applying for Medicaid, or married with only one spouse applying.

For example, a single person applying for Medicaid in 2022 for long-term care has  an asset limit of $2,000.  Some assets are not counted for Medicaid eligibility, like your home (up to a certain equity limit), your vehicle, and your personal effects.  

Medicaid separates assets into countable and non-countable. Exemptions include your primary residence (eligible for estate recovery after passing), vehicle, irrevocable trusts, and personal belongings. Countable assets include cash, savings, investments, retirement accounts and other real estate.

Medicaid Eligibility Rules

To be eligible for Medicaid, you must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or legal alien and reside in the Commonwealth of Virginia. You must also have one of the eligible statuses listed below:

  • 65 or older
  • Pregnant
  • Blind
  • Responsible for a minor child
  • Have a disability
  • Have a household family member with a disability

The Best Time to Plan is Before You Need It – But if You Need Medicaid Now, We Can Help

Medicaid will look back five years to determine whether you have made any transfers of assets that will create a penalty period for you. However, the Medicaid rules are written to allow married couples to more flexibility with asset transfers so that one of them can qualify for Medicaid.   Your best course of action is to store assets in an appropriate Medicaid asset protection trust long before you need to qualify for Medicaid, but we can help you qualify for Medicaid and protect assets even if you or your loved one needs long term care right away.

Contact an Elder Law Attorney for Help with Medicaid Eligibility

When you need help with Medicaid crisis planning because you or your loved one need long-term care, turn to the experienced elder law attorney team at Commonwealth Life & Legacy Counsel. Let them help you navigate the intricate systems to qualify for Medicaid. Call them today at 434-589-2958, or in or near Powhatan at (804) 598-1348 or fill out their online contact form  to schedule a consultation.

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