Long Term Care and Medicaid Spenddowns

Long Term Care and Medicaid Spenddowns

  • May 5, 2022

With Nursing Home Costs in Wisconsin often surpassing $120K per year, many adults are concerned with how they can afford care. Attorney Justin Randall visited Local 5 Live to discuss Medicaid Spenddown.

Millaine Wells: You have big dreams for retirement. What about planning for care during this time?

Lisa Malak: It's an important thing to consider and Attorney Justin Randall is here with some guidance from Hooper Law Office. Good morning.

Justin Randall: Good Morning.

Lisa Malak: All right, let's talk about what people need to consider when it comes to this topic during retirement.

Justin Randall: So when it comes to planning for Long-Term Care, I think a lot of people look at cost, first and foremost, which is something to obviously consider. But you also want to look at what types of amenities you might want if you're looking into a facility. There's a lot of good organizations out there who can help people find these facilities that fit their needs.

Justin Randall: You know, I always think of. King, the veterans home, has a bowling alley and a pub, right? I mean, is that the kind of thing that you want at your facility? And it's important to think about those things.

Millaine Wells: So then how much do people want to budget for this type of care?

Justin Randall: Yeah, you know, you want to be able to privately pay and if you can do it for about two years, you have a lot more say in where you are able to stay. A lot of these facilities are requiring that period of time before someone goes on to Medicaid, for example. So if you're able to pay that long, you're able to sort of choose where you want to go.

Lisa Malak: Well, when do programs like Medicaid come in, and how does this help with the cost of care or affect the cost of care?

Justin Randall: Yeah, so, Medicaid comes in after someone is below a certain amount in assets and that amount is going to vary depending on whether you're single or married. And the types of assets that you have as well, especially a married situation. So once the person receiving care is below that level of assets, then Medicaid can step in.

Lisa Malak: Okay.

Millaine Wells: How can your team help us plan for that scenario? Because there are people who have accumulated a lot of assets, a lot of land and properties in the family, and they maybe want them to go on to a different generation.

Justin Randall: Yeah. Really, the best thing I can say is the sooner somebody does that planning, the better. Medicaid has a five-year lookback period. So when you're talking about making transfers or planning around protecting assets, it's important to do that as soon as possible, especially after retirement, I think is a really good kind of bar of entry.

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