Fort Myers Elder Law Lawyer Explores Medicaid Penalties
For Fort Myers residents who are making the transition into an assisted living facility, Medicaid can offer valuable financial assistance. But if those residents did not plan their Medicaid application process properly, then there could be Medicaid penalties to pay that will cost a lot of money.
What Is A Medicaid Penalty?
When you apply for Medicaid, the Medicaid agency does what is called a look-back report on your assets. The look-back report covers the previous 60 months of financial activity in and out of your various accounts. With this process, Medicaid is looking to see if you transferred or gifted any assets to try and avoid having to pay for your own long-term care. If Medicaid finds that you did transfer or gift assets to avoid paying for your own care, then a Medicaid penalty is applied.
How Does It Work?
Medicaid penalties delay the approval of your Medicaid benefits based on how much in assets you attempted to hide. For example, two years ago you transferred $50,000.00 in cash to your eldest child in preparation for your Medicaid application. Since it happened during the look-back period, the transfer showed up on Medicaid’s reports.
Let us say that the average monthly cost for assisted living in Fort Myers is $5,000.00. Since you transferred $50,000.00, your application approval will be delayed by 10 months.
How Does This Penalize Me?
People who do not plan properly for their later years by utilizing an elder law attorney will usually make these mistakes that create Medicaid penalties. In the above example, the penalty means that your loved one is going to have to wait 10 extra months before Medicaid can be approved. This means that someone is going to have to pay for those first 10 months of assisted living out of their pockets.
When a loved one is close to needing assisted living services, then these penalties can be devastating. Families are forced to either come up with the $50,000.00 to get their loved one the care they need, or care for their loved on on their own for 10 months.
What Can I Do?
No Fort Myers resident or family should ever enter into the Medicaid planning process on their own. When you have an experienced elder law firm on your side, there are ways to possibly protect assets and attempt to avoid costly Medicaid penalties.
If you or someone you love is on the verge of needing assisted living care, then we urge you to contact our elder law attorneys immediately. Our firm has years of experience in helping people to handle Medicaid penalties, and we will be happy to show you any options you may have that could protect your family assets.