Specializing in Florida Medicaid Planning and Veteran Benefit Planning
Broward (954) 472-5556 or Palm Beach (561) 406-6886
When the need for long-term care arises, many people search out information from different sources. Due to the legislative loopholes, financial exemptions and unique family situations, many people disqualify themselves from government programs without even knowing it.
Here is a list of common mistakes that most people make. It should be noted that in most instances, Long Term Care Consulting Service, Inc. CAN CORRECT THESE MISTAKES and help our clients meet the financial eligibility qualifications.
1) Believing that Medicare covers the cost of a nursing home.
Medicare is a type of public health care insurance that pays for the primary health care for people over the age of 65. In some instances, Medicare part “A” may pay for a short stay in a nursing home or rehabilitation facility, but it only does so in limited circumstances and it will only pick up the entire cost for the first 20 days.
2) You have to wait until you are indigent to qualify for Medicaid.
In Florida, Medicaid does institute a maximum Asset threshold of $2,000 for the patient and $126,420 for the community spouse. However, there are many allowable ways to restructure assets. Long Term Care Consulting Service, Inc. specializes in preserving our client’s assets while still qualifying for the financial eligibility of Medicaid.
3) Gifting away assets will qualify you for Veterans Benefits.
Although, giving away assets is a strategy to meet the financial eligibility for the Aid & Attendance pension, this strategy will disqualify you for Medicaid. It is very important to maintain eligibility for any and all benefits that may be needed at some point. Our consultants work with families to help them understand the possible scenarios that may arise from the medical standpoint and factor those variables into a complete long-term plan. We always educate our clients on the entire process.
4) Confusing tax planning or estate planning with long term care planning.
Many of our clients have relationships with other professionals (accountants, attorneys or financial planners) that specialize in asset preservation. During this process some advice they have been given includes: gifting away moneys to lessen a tax burden, structuring estates into trusts in order to avoid probate issues, or establishing distributions from retirement funds to increase income. In some instances Veterans Benefit and Medicaid planning may require contrary advice in order to meet eligibility. Our consultants work with all facets of a family’s support system to make sure the best plan is in place for our clients.
5) Failure to distinguish asset classification for different programs.
This mistake can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. There is lots of misinformation with respect to limits, exemptions, and income caps. At Long Term Care Consulting, we keep abreast of the changes to these classifications and can accurately counsel our clients to avoid these costly mistakes.
6) Failing to account for the Medical prognosis for BOTH spouses.
Our practice of including the entire family unit and support system of our clients is evident in the plans we develop. Our background in social work is often reflected in the overall structure of our planning. We recognize that although we maybe helping a family immediately for one loved one, a medical crisis may require us to plan to assist both spouses.
7) Improper documentation for asset transfers.
Any and all transfers must be documented. Most of the time supporting paperwork is required in order to verify that transfers were handled correctly. This information on what to provide is often NOT included in the basic application process. If items were not properly documented at the time of the transfer, it can be impossible for it to be rectified without professional help.
8) I’m already in an Assisted Living Facility or Nursing Home so it is too late to apply for Medicaid.
It is never to late to get information. There are benefits available to help cover the costs of long-term care even if you are already in a facility. Our consultants work with many facilities in South Florida and have been successful in obtaining both Medicaid Waiver assistance and ICP assistance.
9) Not consulting with a professional when determining your long-term plan.
The timing for benefits planning is often unexpected and is often accompanied by highly charged emotions. Having a professional help a family through the process can alleviate stress and return the focus back to caring for their loved one.
Often times, people who attempt to obtain benefits without the help of a professional can either be held up in the approval process for months or possibly be denied benefits entirely. Don’t let that happen to you. Contact us today to see how we can help!