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Appealing a MassHealth Denial Preserves Retroactive Nursing Home Coverage

In Massachusetts, Medicaid coverage of nursing home costs is obtained by filing a MassHealth long-term care application. Often, an initial denial is received, sometimes due to missing information. Not appealing that denial can have disastrous financial effects, so it is this office’s policy that every denial that is received during the MassHealth application process will be appealed. Any […]

Using Long-Term Care Insurance to Cover the MassHealth Disqualification Period

Buying Insurance for Temporary Reasons Can Keep a Disqualifying Transfer from Becoming a Problem. Many persons do not become aware of long-term care financing issues (including MassHealth transfer restrictions and the lack of coverage of long-term health care by Medicare and other health insurance) until it is too late to engage in anything other than […]

Last-Minute Medicaid Planning in Massachusetts

Even After a Nursing Home Stay Has Begun, Some Asset Protection Planning Can Still Be Done Lookback and Disqualification Periods. Many persons, including some who are rendering advice about Medicaid law, seem to misunderstand the Medicaid lookback period. The lookback period is not the same as the disqualification period. When a Medicaid application is filed, […]

Attempting to Receive Retroactive Medicaid Benefits

In Massachusetts, Medicaid coverage of nursing home costs is obtained by filing a MassHealth long-term care application. Coverage under a MassHealth application can be retroactive to the first day of the third month prior to the application. Based on the date that MassHealth is needed, in many cases you must keep the original application alive. […]

Despite Lookback Restrictions, Some Gifts of a MassHealth Applicant’s Home Are Always Safe

A MassHealth Applicant’s Home Can Sometimes Be Given Away Without Penalty Even After a Nursing Home Stay Has Begun. While many transfers of the home are subject to a period of disqualification from payment of nursing home costs by the state Medicaid program, some transfers can be made even after a nursing home stay has […]

Life Estate Can Be Retained for Estate Tax Purposes Without Being Reserved in Deed, and Result in a Step-up in Basis for Capital Gains Tax Purposes

Estate Tax Inclusion Results in a Step-Up in Basis and Eliminates Capital Gains Taxes on Transferred Real Estate. For many elderly persons in the middle class, a key tax goal is to keep the home includable in the person’s gross estate for federal estate tax purposes. Doing so results in a step-up in the basis of […]

Problems with Outright Gifts in the Medicaid Planning Context

An Irrevocable Trust Is Sometimes a Better Planning Maneuver Than an Outright Gift. There are several problems with outright gifts in the Medicaid planning context that can lead to the recommendation of the use of an irrevocable trust. Below are a few of these problems. (1) Appreciated Assets Clients are often concerned about leaving behind […]

Creating Jointly-Held Assets in Massachusetts: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Adding someone’s name to an asset of yours can be done all too easily, without your realizing all of the ramifications. There are many issues that come into play when deciding whether making an asset jointly-held is the right move. Among those issues are the common issues raised in any estate plan: creditor protection; family […]

A Primer for Elder Care Professionals on the Use of Reserved Special Powers of Appointment in MassHealth Planning

Clients Can Make Some Types of Transfers for Medicaid Planning Purposes Yet Still Reserve Some Degree of Control. Due to their concerns about possible impact of nursing home costs (and the Medicaid disqualification period) on their assets, many aging clients feel under pressure to make transfers of their assets earlier than may otherwise be advisable. One […]

In MassHealth Planning, Some Trusts Can Put Elderly Persons in a Worse Position Than If They Had Taken No Action At All

If Assets Can Be Given Back to or Taken Back by the Original Owner, the Assets of the Trust Are Not Protected for MassHealth Purposes if a Nursing Home Stay Becomes Necessary. In trust law, there is no such thing as “one-size-fits-all.” Trusts must be designed to meet the particular concerns of the person whose […]