Applying for Medicaid Without an Attorney - Part One

February 24, 2010

This edition of the Koldin Report E-Newsletter reviews the risks you take when applying for Medicaid without being represented by an Attorney.

When you apply for Medicaid without knowing your legal rights, you risk losing an important opportunity to protect some or all of your life savings.

Example:

A client recently came to our office after receiving a denial from Medicaid for his wife who was at the nursing home. His wife went into a nursing home and the social worker at the nursing home advised the husband to apply for Medicaid. Without knowing the rules or regulations, the husband submitted an application to the Medicaid Agency. At the time of the Medicaid application, the husband and wife had more than $250,000 in assets.

This total life savings of $250,000 far exceeded the allowable amount for Medicaid eligibility. The Medicaid agency should have immediately denied coverage. Instead, however, the Medicaid agency delayed issuing its denial for over 6 months.

Once the husband received the denial, he received a retroactive nursing home bill for approximately $66,000. This money that he now owed the nursing home could have been protected for him had he sought legal advice prior to applying for Medicaid. Now it was too late to protect those funds and he had to pay the bill.

After meeting with our office, the Koldin Law Center, P.C. then developed a plan to protect a substantial amount of his remaining life savings.

The important lesson is if you apply for Medicaid without proper legal advice, you can unnecessarily lose a substantial portion of your life savings that could have otherwise been protected.

While social workers from nursing homes and hospitals are generally well-intentioned and desire to assist, they are unable to give legal advice on how to protect your life savings.

The Medicaid process is complex. The laws are constantly changing, as are the asset preservation options.

It is extremely important to remember that it is never too late to protect at least some of your assets. There is a great deal of misinformation being distributed. Many believe they have no choice other than to spend away all of their life savings.

The Koldin Law Center, P.C. practices extensively in the field of Medicaid Law. If you or a family member is receiving long term care at home, at an assisted living facility, or at a nursing home, or is at risk of needing such care in the near future, the Koldin Law Center, P.C. is available to assist and counsel you. There is no fee for the initial consultation to discuss your options.

The Koldin Law Center, P.C. is also available to review your estate planning options to protect your life savings before you face a catastrophic illness. There is something you can do.