One of the best steps you can take to help your parent achieve their nursing home Medicaid asset protection goals is to start protecting assets early. The reason is simple. Once you let another month go by without creating Medicaid eligibility you create another month’s worth of nursing home bills. That extra month’s bill is going to decrease the assets available for me to protect. Once it is gone, it is gone.
Nobody comes out and tells you this like they should, but when a parent enters a nursing home the clock starts ticking. Heck, if your parent is married the HHSC already decided the snapshot date to examine their assets. They did this on the day your parent entered a rehabilitation facility or a nursing home. They are getting ready on their end, are you?
Is It Too Soon To Protect Assets?
In my experience, the best results are possible when you begin to start protecting assets soon after you know your parent or spouse requires extended nursing home care after Medicare stops paying the bill. This can happen shortly after the first 20 days. It can happen closer to 100 days if your parent has good health insurance. As soon as you think it is certain or very likely that prolonged nursing home care is in the picture you should start exploring your options to help your parents.
Waiting To Start Protecting Assets Is Expensive
Medicare does not guarantee your parent 100 days of nursing home coverage. It is up to 100 days. Medicare can stop paying the bill as soon as they decide they need custodial care instead of therapeutic care.
Your parent is paying for each day in the nursing home once Medicare nursing home coverage ends. How long can they keep that up before they are broke and still need nursing home care?
You may have to pay for an entire month (or more) of the nursing home if you don’t establish Medicaid eligibility before the deadline after Medicare coverage ends.
The Asset Protection Lesson
I’ve been helping families with nursing home Medicaid for over 15 years. In that entire time I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone say to me: “we started too soon, it led to us protecting too many assets, we should have waited.” I hear the opposite from people who wish they started sooner quite a bit though. Take control, help your parents, and don’t be another one of those stories.