Golden Law Center
200 Highland Ave, Suite 302, Needham, MA 02494
According to statistics cited by the United States Centers for Disease Control, there are 1.5 million people living in nursing homes, with an average stay of 835 days. Nursing homes in the Boston area now cost $300, $350, even $400 or more a day! Assisted living facilities for elders without intensive medical needs can cost as much as $5,000 a month for room, board and basic services. The sooner you consider how you will manage these costs, the more options you will have to stretch those funds, protect your spouse and leave a financial legacy for your children.
Your hard-earned assets represent a lifetime of careful management. Your options for protecting and managing those funds may depend on whether you or a loved one is already in or will shortly be moved to a nursing home. These decisions may also be affected by the value of your assets, how your assets are owned, whether you have long-term care insurance, and many other factors.
Golden Law Center attorneys have helped many clients legally and ethically preserve their assets while protecting Medicaid eligibility. The important thing you need to know is that you often can keep your home and other assets and still qualify for MassHealth long-term care benefits. The more you plan ahead, the more options you will have and the more assets you may be able to preserve.
We won’t promise you a free lunch, though. Ethical, thoughtful planning involves weighing the pros and cons of your options and making sometimes difficult choices. Our lawyers will provide you with the legal and factual information you need to make sure that the choices you make are the right ones for you and your family.
MassHealth is a “poverty” program, and you can’t qualify for MassHealth to pay for your care unless you are considered “impoverished.”
As a general rule, a nursing home resident can keep no more than $2,000, plus a life insurance policy with not more than $1,500 cash value, a pre-paid funeral plan or trust, property needed to run a business, and real estate used at the applicant’s home with less than $750,000 equity.
The spouse of the nursing home resident generally can keep a maximum of $113,640 as a community spouse resource allowance (CSRA) ) plus the family home, a car, a prepaid funeral plan, and life insurance with not more than $1,500 cash value. In addition, the community spouse will receive a minimum monthly maintenance needs allowance (MMMNA). The MMMNA is made up of a combination of the institutionalized spouse’s and community spouse’s incomes and is intended to cover basic needs. The amount will vary depending on your housing costs and medical needs; however, the minimum amount in 2012 is $1,839 and maximum amount is $2,841. (If the community spouse’s own income is higher than $2,941, she can keep her income but will not normally receive any income from the nursing home spouse.)
Many people get bad advice and flat-out untruths from family, friends, financial professionals and even other lawyers with little or no experience in elder law. This bad advice can result in the needless loss of thousands of dollars and years of eligibility for benefits if assets are transferred incorrectly.
You deserve to work with an experienced lawyer with hundreds of hours of training and years of experience in the field, who knows how to ethically protect your assets to the extent allowed by law to make sure that the funds are there to help you, your spouse and your loved ones. We’ll review your finances with you and advise you about how to manage your finances in a manner we think will be most likely to maximize your rights to preserve your income and assets under the MassHealth regulations.