A Big Problem – For The Long Term, Recently Passed Legislation Dramatically Changes The Landscape of Medicaid Planning
March 7, 2006
Hyman G. Darling weighs in below – Hyman Darling says some people are calling it the ‘Nursing Home Bankruptcy Act.’ That’s just one of the many, often colorful, descriptors being used to assess the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, or DRA. The measure includes several legislative and policy changes, designed to limit the ability of the elderly to transfer assets before qualifying for Medicaid coverage for nursing home care, until their own funds are exhausted. One of the provisions of the DRA, a policy which concerns the penalty period for transfers of assets to individuals other than spouses, dictates that the penalties – in the form of months of nursing home care that Medicaid won’t pay for (roughly $7,000 per month) – kick in after the individual is in the nursing home and has less than 2,000 in assets. Under the old law, the penalty period began on the date of the transfer. “That’s why they call it the Nursing Home Bankruptcy Act,” said Darling, an estate planning specialist with the Springfield based law firm Bacon & Wilson. “Who’s going to pay those bills? A lot of times, they simply won’t be paid, and the nursing homes will really suffer.”…
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by: George O’Brien
Healthcare News, BusinessWest
March 2006, March 6, 2006