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Is Medicaid Only for the Really Poor?

Question: I can’t qualify for Medicaid assistance because I have too much money. I own my house, doesn’t that disqualify me from Medicaid? Won’t Medicaid take my house after I die?

Answer: The Long-Term Care Medicaid program provides assistance to those who either reside at home, in assisted living facilities or in nursing homes. As the cost of aging can be exorbitant, qualifying for this program is greatly desired, and for some, is the difference between being able to remain at home with care and moving into a nursing home.  In most cases, someone’s home is considered an exempt asset for Medicaid purposes, but whether the government can recover any benefits that it paid during someone’s life from that individual’s estate, depends on how the property is deeded and passed to beneficiaries. While Medicaid has strict financial requirements, and allows for some estate recovery upon death, with the proper planning and advice from a Board Certified Elder Law attorney, many families can qualify for the Long-Term Care Medicaid program, while still maintaining a significant portion of their assets within the family and avoid estate recovery completely.

Heidi F. Friedman of Becker & Poliakoff is Board Certified Elder Law attorney. She has extensive experience in elder law, Medicaid programs, Veteran’s Administration programs and special needs planning by working and being closely associated with some of the most knowledgeable Florida professionals in the field. Please feel free to contact her at hfriedman@bplegal.com.

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