Q: HOW DOES THIS WORK. I HAVE A PARENT WHO IS IN A FACILITY. WE WANT TO APPY FOR MEDICAID. WE WANT TO GIFT MONEY TO 7 GRANDCHILDREN. WE WANT TO APPLY FOR MEDICAID BUT IN ORDER TO DO SO WE HAVE TO SPEND HIS MONEY DOWN TO BELOW A CERTAIN NUMBER. THE PARENT WANTS TO GIFT SOME TO HIS GRANDCHILDREN. HOW DOES THAT LOOK TO WHEN MEDICAID IS LOOKING BACK 5 YEARS INTO HIS ACCOUNTS? WHEN ALL BILLS ARE PAID DOWN AND FUNERAL IS PRE-ARRANGED. IS THAT POSSIBLE? (NEW KENSINGTON, PA)
A: the short answer is do not do this yourself. It sounds like it would be a flagrant violation of medicaid regulations and could cause your parent to be ineligible for medicaid and spend their remaining days in a run-down, flea-ridden, warehouse for the elderly. there are certain ways to spend-down with the procurement of medicaid exempt necessities and perhaps to even shelter some of this money. however, only do this through an attorney versed in medicaid regulations
Q: How can my friend gift away money to his nieces and nephews and avoid a penalty from Medicaid? (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: No one can answer this question without knowing all the facts surrounding the potential applicant including but not limited to age health, assets and how they are titled, health insurance resources, etc. You need to consult with an attorney versed in Medicaid regulations. I think you may be confusing “unlimited gifts” with the Federal Gift tax exemption, which has nothing to do with Medicaid. The basic idea is that all transfers for less than fair market consideration (deal and gifts to relatives) within the five-year period prior to a Medicaid application for benefits, and render the applicant ineligible for Medicaid benefits to the extent of the value of assets transferred. An attorney experienced with regulations of Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Service’s administration of the Federal Medicaid program, can guide you and advise if any and what exemptions may be available to your applicant.
Q: I am widowed and getting up there in age. I want to make sure I can protect myself. I own a home, a car, some certificate of deposits and a bank account.
A: This is a very complicated issue and you should sit down with an elder law attorney to review your entire situation-assets, income, insurance, health, everything. Very generally what is exempt are one automobile of any value, prepaid burial expenses, special needs trusts and $2,000 in liquid assets. Some assets are conditionally exempt, for example, the principal residence, while residing in it and some income producing property.