Ohio Medicaid planning attorney shares how not to worry about a Medicaid spenddown or lien. Call (740) 653-3450 in Lancaster, Dublin, or St. Clairsville to schedule your FREE consultation.
Financial and healthcare concerns can put a strain on your mental and physical health. One source of anxiety for Ohio seniors and their loved ones is the Medicaid spenddown process and the possibility of a lien on their home.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. In this blog post, an Ohio Medicaid planning attorney from Jarvis Law Office shares what you need to know to alleviate your worries and make informed decisions about a Medicaid spenddown or home lien in Ohio.
Take the first step towards peace of mind by contacting our experienced Medicaid planning team at (740) 653-3450 or online. We are dedicated to protecting Ohio seniors and those who love them, and we’re here to guide you every step of the way. Schedule your FREE consultation today and embark on a journey towards a secure financial future.
Understanding Medicaid and the Medicaid Spenddown
Medicaid is a crucial federal health coverage program administered by the state designed to aid eligible low-income individuals and families. However, in this blog, our focus is on Ohio residents aged 65 and older who will need long-term care.
When applying for Medicaid, your countable assets are assessed, and if they exceed the asset limit (currently set at $2,000 in Ohio for an individual), you will need to spend down your assets to the required level before you can qualify for Medicaid coverage.
This spenddown requirement applies to various assets, including bank accounts, investments, and property, excluding certain exempt assets like your primary residence.
To further understand the distinction between exempt and countable assets, please refer to our blog post, “Medicaid In Ohio: What Seniors Need To Know About Exempt And Countable Assets.”
Demystifying the Medicaid Lien
While it’s true that your primary home is generally considered an “exempt” asset for determining initial Medicaid eligibility, this exemption status can change under certain circumstances.
When you apply for Medicaid, your primary home is usually considered exempt if you express an “intent to return home,” even if you’re currently residing in a nursing home. This also applies if your spouse, dependent child, or disabled relative continues to live in the home.
However, under the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program, states are federally required to seek recovery from the estates of certain deceased Medicaid beneficiaries for the cost of medical care provided, including long-term care.
This is where the issue of liens comes into play. After you pass away, your home (or the value of it) can become susceptible to a lien if it is part of your probate estate.
In short, while your primary residence may not count as an asset when Medicaid determines your eligibility, it can be subject to estate recovery after your death under specific circumstances. Therefore, consulting with a qualified Ohio Medicaid planning attorney is critical to fully understand the implications and possible strategies to safeguard your assets.
For more details on protecting your home, read our blog post on “Medicaid Estate Recovery: How To Keep Medicaid From Taking Your House In Ohio.”
Plan with Proactive Medicaid Asset Protection
By placing your assets in an asset protection trust at least five years before needing Medicaid benefits (commonly referred to as the 5-year Medicaid lookback period), you can secure their protection and avoid the need for a Medicaid spenddown. This approach allows you to preserve up to 100% of your assets, granting you greater control and flexibility.
To learn more about protecting your hard-earned assets, read our blog post, “The 5-Year Medicaid Lookback Period And How A Skilled Ohio Elder Law Attorney Can Protect Your Hard-Earned Assets.”
What If It’s an Emergency?
Sometimes, you or a loved one might need to unexpectedly transition into a long-term care setting. While some Medicaid planning strategies require proactive action and advance preparation, options are still available even in last-minute emergencies.
Though the effectiveness and availability of certain strategies may vary, it’s still possible to implement some planning techniques to protect assets and qualify for Medicaid benefits.
Consulting with an experienced Medicaid planning attorney in an emergency can help identify and implement appropriate strategies based on the circumstances and available time frame. While it may be more challenging to fully maximize asset protection in a short period, taking prompt action and seeking professional guidance can still make a significant difference in preserving assets and navigating the Medicaid eligibility process.
Explore Community Resources
Ohio offers a range of community resources that can provide valuable assistance for your healthcare and financial needs. Take advantage of these resources to enhance your understanding of Medicaid eligibility and the application process. The Ohio Department of Medicaid is a valuable source of information and guidance, providing valuable insights and support throughout your Medicaid journey.
Additionally, the Ohio Department of Aging offers various services and resources tailored to the needs of seniors and caregivers. These services can include home care options, transportation assistance, and other programs designed to enhance seniors’ well-being and quality of life.
Don’t overlook the support provided by non-profit organizations such as the Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging. These organizations specialize in connecting individuals with local resources, programs, and services that can address specific needs and offer valuable support on various aspects of senior living.
By leveraging these community resources, you can gain access to a wealth of information and support to navigate your Medicaid journey more effectively.
Seek Professional Advice
Medicaid spenddown and lien rules are complex and may vary depending on your situation. Therefore, it’s crucial to seek professional advice from an experienced Medicaid planning attorney or financial planner who can help you navigate the system and make the right decisions.
An attorney can help you with asset preservation strategies and financial planning techniques to help you avoid a lien or a spenddown. A financial planner can help you manage your funds to pay for your healthcare expenses without risking eligibility for Medicaid.
Staying Positive and Proactive
Dealing with a Medicaid spenddown or lien can be challenging, but staying positive and proactive is crucial. Seek assistance when needed, and remember you have options and resources available.
By staying informed and acting, you can alleviate your worries and make the most of your healthcare and financial planning.
Get Peace of Mind with Jarvis Law Office by Your Side
Are worries about a Medicaid spenddown and liens keeping you up at night? Put your mind at ease with the support of Jarvis Law Office, your compassionate “Medicaid attorneys near me.”
Our experienced team understands the complexities of Medicaid and can alleviate your concerns by providing guidance and personalized solutions, so you don’t have to worry about the government taking your hard-earned assets.
At Jarvis Law Office, we protect Ohio 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 consultation.
Copyright © 2023. Jarvis Law Office, P.C. All rights reserved.
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.
Jarvis Law Office, P.C.
904 N. Columbus Street
Lancaster, OH 43130