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Often, people believe that there’s no point in doing Elder Law planning, because they believe they won’t qualify for Medicaid. They believe they have too many assets, and too much in savings and income to be eligible.

Sometimes they are intimidated because they think that the specialized trust strategies that Elder Law attorneys use to help people protect their assets and income are for rich people only.

Happily, this is not true.

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It is possible for most people to qualify for Medicaid benefits without having to first spend almost all their money, if they do the proper planning. Elder Law strategies are designed to properly protect the savings you’ve built up during your lifetime, and your home as well if you own one. If you don’t protect these assets, you may end up spending everything you have saved paying for care that Medicaid could and would have covered.


In addition, the “look back” and “penalty period” concepts are widely misunderstood. We explain these concepts in more detail in other sections of this report. In brief: in New York, you can become eligible for Medicaid payment of home care quickly, because in our state, the look back does not apply to the type of Medicaid called Community Medicaid. The “look back”and “penalty period” do apply in nursing home situations, but even here, there are usually options that will allow you to get nursing facility care paid by Medicaid without first spending all your money.

Consulting with an experienced Elder Law attorney, and taking the proper legal steps, can
make a huge positive difference in your life. The attorney will review the details of your particular situation and make a recommendation that is optimal for you. You will be able to keep the benefit of your savings, income and assets, and be able to maintain your quality of life as long as possible. Once you have passed on, your family members or other heirs will inherit what otherwise would have been spent on the cost of your care.

Medicaid is quick to deny benefits – it’s their job. If you’ve applied for Medicaid and
have been denied, don’t despair. There are often ways to get the decision reversed. Reasons for
denial vary widely, and include improper transfers, forgotten assets that put the applicant over
the Medicaid asset limit, lack of documentation, and issues regarding a spouse. An experienced
Elder Law firm can help you with these hurdles, because they are familiar with the different
strategies used to address them. Many of those strategies are discussed at more length later in
this report.

Don’t hesitate to access these government benefits, if you need them. You have contributed your
tax dollars to them for years.


25 Strategies to Prevent Financial Ruin from Long-Term Health Care Costs

  1. You can qualify for Medicaid (even if you don’t think so)
  2. The “Wait and See” Approach can Result in Ruinous Health Care Expenses.
  3. Plan for Home Care and Nursing Home Facility Care while You Still Can.
  4. What’s the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?
  5. It’s NOT too Late for Effective Medicaid Planning (even if you think it is)
  6. Why Hire an Elder Law Attorney?
  7. Don’t Prepare Your Own Medicaid Application
  8. Trusts Can Protect Your Home and Your Money!
  9. Special Trusts for Specific Purposes
  10. Protecting Co-op Apartments Require Special Handling
  11. Evaluate Your 401k or IRA Carefully when Planning for Medicaid
  12. Why Take the Lump Sum Option on Your Pension or Retirement Account?
  13. Choose Your Trustee Wisely
  14. Private Annuities can Help Protect Your Assets
  15. Caregiver Agreements Help Achieve Medicaid Eligibility
  16. Keep Your Medicare Insurance
  17. The Durable Power of Attorney
  18. Elder Law and Estate Planning
  19. The Health Care Proxy vs. the Living Will
  20. How to Choose an Elder Law Firm
  21. Streamline Your Financial Affairs and Record Keeping
  22. New York State is More Generous than Other States
  23. Your Attorney can Help Find the Best Care for You
  24. Long-Term Care Insurance Won’t Necessarily Solve the Problem
  25. Compassionate Elder Law Planning Focuses on Your Future Quality-of-Life!
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