Massachusetts Estate Planning & Asset Protection Blog

Massachusetts Elder Law Attorney | Avoiding Medicaid Penalties

Posted by Massachusetts Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney, Dennis B. Sullivan, Esq., CPA, LLM on Thu, Sep 20, 2012

Earlier in the week, we discussed the numerous restrictions the Deficit Reduction Act of 05 (hereinafter DRA) has placed on Medicaid eligibility, and how elder law attorneys are still able to assist individuals and families in developing estate plans to avoid depleting their assets should they become ill and need long term care.medicaid, elder law, estate planning

Despite these new harsh rules, The Estate Planning and Asset Protection Law Center of Dennis Sullivan & Assocaites continues to help people qualify for Medicaid benefits while maximizing the amount of money they are able to keep.

Here is another example of a family we were able to assist post DRA enactment:

Cheryl met with our office in March to discuss the situation with her mother, Lois.

Cheryl moved in with her mother, Lois, a few years ago to help care for her. Last year Lois had a stroke and Cheryl quit her job to assist her mother full time. When Cheryl came to our office, it had gotten to the point that Lois needed more help than Cheryl could provide. The doctor told Lois it was no longer safe for her to live at home, even with Cheryl’s assistance. Lois, the doctor said, needed nursing home care.

Cheryl and Lois were concerned that Lois would have to sell her house to pay for her care and Cheryl would have no place to live. It was very important to Lois that she give her home to her daughter as a way of saying thank you for the care Cheryl had provided. But, both Cheryl and Lois had heard that gifting the home would cause her to be ineligible for Medicaid (and under the new DRA, the penalty wouldn’t even start until Lois applied for Medicaid and was otherwise eligible!)

Through some planning, we were able to transfer the home to Cheryl, without causing any Medicaid penalties for her mother. The same month Lois went into the nursing home, we applied for Medicaid included the transfer of the home on her application, and Lois was approved for benefits!

Gifting an applicant’s residence to a caretaker child continues to be available under the new DRA so long as the requisite proof is provided, including a doctor’s statement. Again, is the transfer is made improperly, the result could be up to five years of Medicaid ineligibility!

While the Deficit Reduction Act can make Medicaid planning and Medicaid crisis situations more difficult, they are certainly not impossible. Call our office today to discuss the specifics of your situation and find out what you can do to protect your family’s assets while getting high-quality care for yourself or your loved one.

For more information, you can gain free online access to the “Seniors’ Guide to Health Care Reform & Avoiding Nursing Home Poverty” which contains secret benefits revealed by the Affordable Care Act.

Click Here to Download the Senior & Boomers Guide to Health Care Reform & Avoiding  Nursing Home Poverty

At the Estate Planning & Asset Protection Law Center of Dennis Sullivan & Associates, we help people and their families concerned with losing their homes and life savings to increasing medical and nursing home costs, taxes and the costs and time delays of probate. We also protect clients from losing control of their own health and financial decisions.

We encourage you to attend one of our free educational workshops to learn more about our process and what you can do to enhance the security of your spouse, home, life savings and legacy. To register for a seat at an upcoming workshop call (800) 964-4295 (24/7) or register online at

Tags: Medicaid, Elder Law, Nursing Home, DRA, Medicaid penalties, Deficit Reduction Act, caretakeer, Massachusetts, gifting

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