Whether you’re an Ohio senior or a loved one caring for a family member, no one wants to think about needing long-term care. However, with 70% of seniors over 65 needing long-term care for an average of 3.7 years for women and 2.2 years for men – it’s a situation most families will face.
The financial impact is immense. In 2023, monthly long-term care in Ohio is approximately $7,300 ($87,000 a year) for a semi-private room and $8,213 for a private room ($98,556 a year).
This scenario highlights the necessity of Medicaid planning to help you and your family cope with the financial hurdles of long-term care. Unfortunately, many misconceptions surround Medicaid, and these misunderstandings can put your hard-earned assets at risk.
In this blog post, we’ll debunk seven Ohio Medicaid myths, providing you with the knowledge to make informed decisions about long-term care planning. If you have any questions or would like to get started on your Medicaid planning, don’t hesitate to contact us at Jarvis Law Office at (740) 653-3450 to schedule your FREE consultation with our experienced Ohio Medicaid planning attorney team.
Keep reading to discover the truth behind these myths and empower yourself with accurate information. At Jarvis Law Office, we protect seniors and those who love them.
Medicaid is a health insurance program jointly funded by the federal government and individual states. It provides coverage for low-income individuals, including seniors and people with disabilities.
For seniors, one of the most significant benefits of Medicaid is its coverage of long-term care services. These services are essential for those who require assistance with daily living activities due to chronic health conditions, disabilities, or age-related decline.
Unlike Medicare, which offers limited long-term care coverage, Medicaid is designed to provide comprehensive support for seniors needing ongoing care.
In the next section, we’ll address some common myths that can create confusion and potentially jeopardize your ability to access the benefits you need.
Debunking 7 Ohio Medicaid Myths
Myth 1: Medicaid Eligibility Requires Giving Up All Your Assets
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to exhaust all your assets before qualifying for Ohio Medicaid. Although there are strict asset limits, proper Medicaid planning can help protect your assets while obtaining eligibility for benefits.
Your Ohio Medicaid planning attorney can develop a plan to safeguard your assets and protect every last penny, so you don’t have to worry about a spend down or home lien.
We understand the sacrifices you made to save for your future. Let us help you protect your hard-earned assets so you — not the government – can decide what happens to them.
Myth 2: Transferring Assets to Loved Ones Disqualifies You from Medicaid
Although asset transfers are subject to strict rules, transferring them within the allowable time frame and using proper Medicaid planning strategies can help you become eligible for Medicaid without jeopardizing your loved ones’ inheritance.
Ohio has a “look-back period” of five years, which means that transfers made within five years of applying for Medicaid may be subject to penalties. The key takeaway is that it’s never too early to start planning for Medicaid.
By being proactive, you can ensure that you’re prepared and protected when the time comes for long-term care.
Myth 3: Medicaid Forces You to Sell Your Home
Many seniors worry about losing their homes when receiving Medicaid. However, your primary residence is considered an exempt asset if its equity value is below a certain limit. This means you can keep your home while receiving Medicaid benefits for long-term care if you meet the equity limit and intend to return to your home if your health allows.
If you’re single, the home exemption applies if the property remains your primary residence. For married couples, the home is exempt regardless of its equity value if one spouse continues to live there. Additional circumstances, such as caring for a disabled child, can also make your home exempt.
An Ohio Medicaid planning attorney can assess your situation and guide you through your options, ensuring your home is protected so you can have peace of mind during the Medicaid planning process.
Myth 4: If You Have Medicare, You Don’t Need Medicaid
Many people mistakenly believe that Medicare covers everything they need for their healthcare. The reality is that while Medicare covers a wide range of services, it limits coverage of long-term services to 100 days, and even then, only if specific requirements are met.
In contrast, Medicaid covers long-term care services for those who qualify, making it a crucial resource for seniors needing ongoing care.
Myth 5: Your Spouse Will Be Left Penniless if You Receive Medicaid
Spousal impoverishment rules protect the financial well-being of the spouse who remains at home (the community spouse) when the other spouse requires long-term care. In Ohio, these rules permit the community spouse to retain a specific amount of income and assets, ensuring they have adequate support while their spouse receives Medicaid benefits.
In addition, your attorney can help you put together a Medicaid plan by:
- Advising on appropriate asset transfers to avoid Medicaid penalties
- Assisting with income allocation between you and your spouse to maintain the community spouse’s standard of living
- Developing estate planning strategies, such as wills, trusts, and power of attorney documents
By working with an experienced Medicaid planning attorney, the community spouse can navigate the complex Medicaid system, protect their assets, and ensure their partner receives the long-term care they need without jeopardizing their financial security.
Myth 6: Ohio Medicaid Only Covers Nursing Home Care
In Ohio, Medicaid covers more than just nursing home care for eligible seniors. Unlike many states that only cover nursing home care, Ohio Medicaid also provides home and community-based service waivers.
Ohio’s PASSPORT Medicaid waiver program assists eligible Ohio seniors in obtaining the necessary long-term services and support required to remain in their homes or other community settings rather than going to a nursing home, allowing them to avoid institutionalization and maintain their independence.
However, proactive planning is essential to protect your hard-earned assets. Without it, you may face a Medicaid spend down and lose a significant portion of your assets. Partnering with a skilled Ohio Medicaid planning attorney can make all the difference. They can help you qualify for Medicaid coverage while preserving most of your assets, ensuring a more secure future.
Myth 7: Medicaid Will Seize Your Home After Your Death
Ohio’s Medicaid Estate Recovery Program recovers funds from the estates of deceased individuals who utilized Medicaid benefits. Fortunately, there are ways to protect your home from being subject to recovery, such as creating an irrevocable trust. Consult an elder law attorney to explore your options for protecting your assets.
How an Ohio Medicaid Planning Attorney Can Help
Navigating the complexities of Medicaid planning can be overwhelming, but an Ohio Medicaid planning attorney can provide invaluable assistance to ensure that you and your loved ones are well-prepared for the future. Here are some of the ways an Ohio Medicaid planning attorney can help:
Clarifying Ohio Medicaid Eligibility Criteria
Understanding Ohio’s Medicaid eligibility criteria is essential for successful planning. An attorney skilled in Medicaid planning can help you comprehend the strict income and asset limits that apply to your situation and guide you in establishing eligibility without sacrificing your assets.
Helping with the Medicaid Application Process
The Medicaid application process can be complicated, time-consuming, and confusing. A simple mistake or oversight can lead to a denied application or delayed coverage, which can be detrimental to you or a loved one’s long-term care needs.
An Ohio Medicaid planning attorney can steer you through this process. They know the ins and outs of Medicaid in Ohio and will ensure your application is complete and accurate. This will maximize your chances of success and minimize delays in getting the long-term care coverage you need.
Developing Asset Protection Strategies
Protecting your assets is a primary concern when planning for long-term care. An experienced attorney can recommend and implement various asset protection strategies, such as establishing trusts or transfers within the allowable time frame, to preserve your wealth and ensure your financial security.
Offering Guidance in Case of Medicaid Denial
If your Medicaid application is denied, a Medicaid planning attorney can serve as your advocate to resolve the issue. They can review your application materials, identify errors or omissions, and work with the state to rectify any problems. If necessary, they can represent you in a Medicaid appeal hearing to secure the coverage you need.
Providing Ongoing Support and Updates
A Medicaid planning attorney’s role doesn’t end with the initial application or asset protection. Laws and regulations governing Medicaid can change over time, and your personal circumstances might also change.
Your attorney can offer valuable ongoing guidance, keeping you informed of any policy updates and adjusting your plan to ensure you remain prepared and protected.
Educating You on Additional Resources
An Ohio Medicaid Planning Attorney can provide you with education and resources on Medicaid and other programs to help you access healthcare services and maintain your independence.
By partnering with a knowledgeable and compassionate Ohio Medicaid planning attorney, you can gain peace of mind knowing that your long-term care needs and financial well-being are in capable hands.
Contact the Jarvis Law Office for Medicaid Planning in Southeast and Central Ohio
If you’re concerned about long-term care costs in Ohio and have been searching online for a “Medicaid attorney near me,” contact the Southeast and Central Medicaid planning attorneys at Jarvis Law Office. Our team can help you with Medicaid planning to protect your hard-earned assets, ensuring that you, not the government, decide what happens to them when you or a loved one requires long-term care.
At Jarvis Law Office, we protect seniors and those who love them. We understand the importance of aging with dignity and on your terms. We offer FREE consultations, in-person workshops, and monthly webinars for Ohio seniors and their families. With locations in Lancaster, Dublin, and St. Clairsville, contact us at (740) 653-3450 or complete our online form to schedule your FREE consultation.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.