This week I’m sharing a blog on Medicaid from Dave Zumpano, who focuses in Medicaid planning. I’ll be sharing Medicaid blogs from Dave Zumpano monthly in this space.
Now, here’s Dave’s blog:
Blog Author: David J. Zumpano, Esq, CPA, Co-founder Lawyers With Purpose, Founder and Senior Partner of Estate Planning Law Center
Over the last 23 years of delivering public workshops to more than 10,000 people, I’m routinely asked about the 60‑month rule. The Lawyer with Purpose “How to Protect Your Stuff in Three Easy Steps” workshops have a slide that asks:
- Have you heard that if you need Medicaid, they can take your home?
- Have you heard that if you want to protect your assets from the nursing home, you have to give them away?
- Have you heard that if you give them away, you have to wait 60 months?
After the audience acknowledges they’ve heard all three, we are swift to say, “None of these are true!” The truth is, there is no such rule.
Sixty months is a rule under the Medicaid law that is merely a period of time in which Medicaid can look back at your financial records. It doesn’t even apply in all Medicaid circumstances. For example, in many states that offer community-based Medicaid for care in the home, there is no look-back period. But understanding the look-back period is absolutely useless in regards to clients’ fears of Medicaid. It has no relevance other than to identify whether the client has made any uncompensated transfers within that time period. So what if they have? When a client retains us, we routinely convey assets away and get them qualified in as little as two to three months. Sixty months has no impact on determining when an individual qualifies for Medicaid, it’s just a period of time to determine if they’ve given assets away. If incomplete transfers have occurred over the 60 months, a client can get them back, and utilize other legally approved strategies to neutralize the impact of transfer.
Knowing the laws and rules is critical. That’s why the LWP Medicaid Calculation software is so valuable. For every client fact pattern, it does the figuring for you. It considers every variable in the Medicaid law of your state and compares them to every variable of your client’s fact pattern. Artificial intelligence optimizes the planning strategy and timeframe to get the client qualified in the shortest period of time, protecting the greatest amount of assets. Don’t let your client suffer from the 60‑month syndrome; learn how to protect them now.
Stephen C. Hartnett, J.D., LL.M.
Associate Director of Education
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555