Spouse is ill. Lots of questions.

Q: My spouse has high med bills and has illness which will continue to worsen. He has no long term coverage. How do I avoid going broke paying his medical bills? How do you qualify for Medicaid? What is amount which you can gift to children? The house is going to me via will but I am not on deed or title, only on the mortgage. Would quit claim deed be solution? (Jefferson Hills, PA)

A: There is no quick and easy solution to this and you can create worse problem by starting to give things away. There is no simple answer here. Please do not worsen the problem by transferring assets on your own without the assistance of an elder law attorney. If the ill person is not yet 62 years of age, he or she will not qualify for Medicare but will qualify for insurance regardless of pre existing conditions due to the affordable care act. Check out www.Healthcare.gov. If the ill person is 62 or older he or she can apply for Medicare and should do so with the assistance of an elder law attorney to determine the best way to preserve the person’s assets without doing anything that would jeopardize their Medicaid eligibility, when they do apply for Medicaid in the future. Generally, to qualify for Medicaid a person must have almost no money or assets. Not sure what is going on with your house, specifically why it is not titled to husband and wife. With Medicaid, if the husband and wife are both on the deed, the house may qualify under the homestead exclusion and would be protected. You need to discuss whether transferring this house now is a good idea and all matters with an experienced estate or elder law attorney.

If you feel like this issue relates to you, or a problem that you are experiencing, please contact me so that we can discuss your situation.