Don’t Go Broke in a Nursing Home…There is Help Available

Don’t Go Broke in a Nursing Home…There is Help Available

If you have a loved one in a nursing home, or about to go into a nursing home, the thought of paying $5,000 to $9,000 per month or more can be utterly terrifying. Many folks find that their life savings is drained in a matter of months. That’s where the Medicaid program can help.

Medicaid pays nursing home costs for certain “qualified individuals,” once a person has run out of money and out of other options. The federal government provides a grant to each state to cover approximately 50-80% of the program costs within the state; the state pays the rest. And as we all know, both the federal government and our state are upside down and spending more than they take in, so one of the places that they always try to cut is in the area of Medicaid. After all, it’s easy to make cuts to Medicaid because rich folks do not consider it a “necessary benefit.” Unfortunately, for most senior citizens and their families, it is very necessary.

The truth is that Medicaid covers 50% of the nursing home expenses in this country, because few families can afford to pay thousands per month for nursing home care.

Medicare does not cover most nursing home expenses, so Medicaid fills the void.

The Medicaid rules are a lot more complicated than the tax laws – and there are very few advisors who know the rules. When you calculate your income taxes, you probably hire someone who knows where to find the deductions – because as we all know, the tax rules are filled with both potholes and pots of gold. When you send your tax return in, the IRS does not call you on the phone and say, “Hello, I was looking over your return and I noticed that you could have saved money by taking a deduction.” The truth is that only a tax expert knows how to keep your taxes as low as possible. Similarly my law practice is focused on estate planning, Medicaid, VA benefits, and disability laws. We know the rules for keeping our clients from spending more money than necessary when applying for Medicaid nursing home benefits. We help you avoid those potholes, so you can keep more gold.

Don’t make BIG MONEY Medicaid mistakes! In this special report, you will learn how to avoid some of the common traps that cause big money losses.

BIG MONEY MISTAKE NUMBER ONE: Don’t let a nursing home social worker or the state Medicaid department complete your Medicaid application. The Medicaid rules are even more complicated and less understood than the tax rules. People need a trained guide who has experience with qualifying clients for Medicaid while at the same time, saving more money for the families. Quite frankly, those who need to qualify for Medicaid are at the mercy of the state government. It’s not uncommon in my practice to have families come to see me after they have been to see the Medicaid Agency to quickly fill out a Medicaid application. They know that when you don’t know the rules AND you quickly fill out a Medicaid application, then you wind up spending most of your money on long term care before you ever qualify for Medicaid benefits.

BIG MONEY MISTAKE NUMBER TWO: Someone may have told you, “It’s too late to do anything, because there is now a five-year look-back penalty!” That is technically right. Everybody seems to know that there’s a five-year audit by the state Medicaid department of every one of your financial documents, whenever you apply for Medicaid. And those same people who know about this rule assume that there’s nothing that you can do to help the family to save money if you’re within five years of applying for Medicaid. But ask those folks, “How many Medicaid applications have you ever completed?” The answer is usually… ZERO! You need help from an elder law firm that knows the Medicaid rules and works every day to represent clients who apply for Medicaid.

That’s right – often the people giving bad Medicaid advice include well-meaning lawyers, accountants, nursing home staff, and even the Medicaid case workers themselves. But the hidden truth is this: A good elder law attorney has learned the state, federal, and even the county rules governing Medicaid. He or she will then apply the specific facts of your own family situation to the Medicaid rules and figure out what options you may have. That’s what we do.

Every month, people hire my firm to help them. We deal with the State so they don’t have to. We show them sound legal solutions that help them protect more of their money. Don’t get me wrong, we cannot promise you a rose garden, but we can show you how our legal services will save you money. And if they won’t, we’ll tell you that too. That’s because our services are designed to save you money, not cost you. You will be far better off when we guide you.

BIG MONEY MISTAKE NUMBER 3: Dealing with the State can be frightening and intimidating. It’s important that you let an elder law attorney take that worry away from you and help you make your life better today. Let us sit down with the Medicaid department so that you don’t have to. We know the rules and the right answers. We tell the truth and we never hide anything! If we give you money-saving advice, we highlight our advice when we talk to the Medicaid caseworkers. To schedule a no-obligation phone consultation, please call us now at (913) 338-5713. Or, to learn more about the strategies that may help you, take a look at my Action Guide in my Alzheimer’s Resource Center at

William Hammond

William G. Hammond, J.D., is the founder and owner of the Elder and Disability Law Firm, P.A., in Overland Park, Kansas. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (B.A. Govt. 1977) and the University of Notre Dame Law School (J.D. 1980). Mr. Hammond, licensed to practice law in Kansas and Missouri, is an author and lecturer. He is co-author of The Kansas and Missouri Nursing Home Guide and the Alzheimer's Legal Survival Guide. He also writes Elder Law Today, a monthly publication for professionals. Mr. Hammond lectures frequently on Elder Law issues as well as on the legal issues faced by families who have a loved one with Alzheimer's. He is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He and his wife, Mary, live in Olathe, Kansas, with their five children, Danny, Katie, Laura, Matt and Molly.

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