What do you do when the unthinkable happens and your spouse needs nursing home care? Do you just stand by, do nothing, and watch your life savings disappear at the rate of $5,000 or more every month?
Or, do you get control of the situation and completely avoid a spend-down while slashing nursing home costs at the same time?
Well, let me tell you the story of a case I won recently where we protected over $30,000 from a Medicaid spend-down AND cut the monthly nursing home bill down to $81.50.
That's right, just $81.50.
Sound too good to be true? Well, the proof is at the end of this post.
Barbara and John have been married for over 50 years. John's health has been deteriorating. It was no longer safe for him to be at home. So John entered The Woodlands Healthcare Center as a nursing home resident.
During the admissions process the business office manager discussed the cost of John's care with Barbara. It was going to be more than $5,000 a month. Barbara recognized she was about to lose their life savings and her financial security real quick if she did nothing.
So Barbara started looking for a nursing home Medicaid attorney.
She found me, like you did. In a few short weeks we proceeded to successfully protect all of their life savings and get John Medicaid approved.
If you want to see how this is possible, keep reading.
What They Started With
Here is what Barbara and John had when she came to me:
- One car;
- One homestead;
- $61,470 spread out among a few bank accounts;
- $5,881 in cash surrender value of life insurance policies.
They were not rich by any means. Their total assets excluding the house and car were just over $67,000. This is pretty typical for what people start out with. Your family may be in a similar situation.
A $34,000 Problem
The big problem here is they were way over the nursing home Medicaid asset limit. Now, $67,000 may not seem like a whole lot to live on for the rest of your life, but to the HHSC it is just too much. Remember, they would only let John keep less than $2,000 and Barbara could only keep one-half of their assets.
This means if they didn’t see me, the Health and Human Services Commission would not give them Medicaid until Barbara was down to $33,500. They had over $67,000. That put almost $34,000 in jeopardy through the dreaded Medicaid spend down.
She would have lost a big chunk of the bank accounts. The HHSC would also take a big bite out of the cash surrender value on the life insurance policies. They could have kept the vehicles and the house but all other bets were off.
$33,500 was all Barbara could have, no exceptions.
If you’ve looked around my site, then you know I don’t believe in putting a family through a spend down. You can do better than that with a Woodlands nursing home Medicaid lawyer.
Do You Know How to Protect $34,000 from a Spend-Down?
So we are at the point where Barbara has $34,000 too much. What can she do with that $34,000?
1. Keep the money in her account in just her name. You would be surprised how many people think this is a good idea. Unfortunately it is a bad idea that can cost you thousands. For the purposes of asset eligibility, Medicaid law treats a married couple as one unit. The result is she would still have to spend-down the $34,000 if she tried this.
2. Give the money to a family member. This may be the worst choice because now she will have $34,000 less and be hit with a penalty of approximately 6.5 months! During those 6.5 months Medicaid won't pay the nursing home bill. Barbara already could not afford the nursing home bill. So what is going to happen during those 6.5 months? I don't know what her plan would be, but in the end she would end up paying for 6.5 months of nursing home care because of the penalty anyway.
3. Get help from someone who has walked people like her through this for almost 20 years.
A $34,000 Solution
They had more than $34,000 of assets they were going to lose. How could we possibly avoid this horrible financial devastation and protect his life savings from the Medicaid spend-down? He is already in a nursing home and in the look-back period so there is no hope, right?
Well, here is what we did to save their life savings of $34,000.
The main issue here was the extra cash. They had $34,000 in at risk assets but they had over $60,000 in bank accounts. So the simplest solution was to convert the at risk cash into a form that is protected from Medicaid spend-downs. That is what we did.
We took that excess $34,000 she would not be allowed to keep in the bank and converted it into a new asset that is protected.
"But Rich, what about those Medicaid penalties you keep warning us about?"
That's a great question. Medicaid penalties are no joke for the inexperienced. However, I have been solving Medicaid issues for almost 20 years now. I know some tricks. I know what works. And more importantly, I know what doesn't work.
There was not a Medicaid penalty in this case because of the specific strategy we used.
He Saves $4,000+ Every Month in Nursing Home Bills
When she first came to me, Barbara was going to lose a lot of money. An obscene amount of money actually. She would have to pay The Woodlands Healthcare Center over $5,000. Every. Single. Month.
At the end of this case, I got their nursing home bill down to an amazing $81.50. She is no longer losing money at $5,000 a clip, she now has plenty of income and assets to maintain her own financial security and their kids don't have to worry about chipping in.
Compared to before she hired me, she now saves more than $4,000 every month. In the first year alone she is saving $48,000. As you can imagine, that is a huge relief for everyone involved.
They Protected Over $34,000 From the Medicaid Spend-Down
At the start of this case Barbara and John were on the road to losing over $34,000. Basically their entire life savings. They would leave next to nothing for their kids.
At the end of his case, I protected over $34,000 they would have lost. That additional amount means their entire life savings was preserved.
What About The Look-Back Period?
That's another great question. We did all these transactions while being in the look-back period. The HHSC reviewed and scrutinized everything we did. And you know what? We won, easily. Why? Because everything we did is well within the rules and I know what I'm doing.
If You Doubt Me, Here's The Proof
I know a lot of what I say can sound too good to be true. You have people out there telling you there is nothing you can do. You have no options. You just have to suck it up and lose $5,000 every month to make the nursing home Administrator a rich man.
Well, that is just not true. You have options when you work with the right people.
So here is the proof I talked about. This is the Medicaid approval showing the co-payment is only $81.50.
Do You Want to Avoid the Medicaid Spend-Down?
As you can see, with the right attorney people are beating the nursing home Medicaid spend-down every day in The Woodlands and Houston. If you want to be part of that group, then contact me today to get started. This family saved $34,000. Even if they had $100,000 or more we could have protected that also. What can we do for your family?