A Message From Bob Kessler Regarding Medicaid Spend Down

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On February 8, 2006 President Bush tightened asset spend down rules on seniors seeking nursing home assistance. These rules will force more families to cover the costs of nursing home care and delay coverage for those most needy.

The bill is designed to tighten loopholes that allowed transferring assets to children so they then could qualify for Medicaid. With nursing home care increasingly becoming more and more expensive with the average yearly care costing $74,000 nationally one can expect further tightening.

To qualify for Medicaid nursing home coverage, most states require a single individual to have no more than $2,000 in cash including other forms of income. There are certain assets such as a home, car and certain trusts that are not counted. Married couples are allowed more. After qualifying an individual must spend all their income on their nursing home care except for an amount under $50 a month for personal expenses.

Medicaid allows individuals to reduce their assets by prepaying for funeral expenses, buying a car, paying off debt and making home modifications. A person with more than $150,000 in equity in a home may be ruled ineligible for Medicaid. Other methods such as gift giving to family members, transferring property and creating certain annuities may trigger a penalty and further delays.

If your currently in a situation where spend down is happening or you wish to prevent it in the future. Get a free analysis on your situation and a plan of action. Please feel free to write or call me Bob Kessler at 1-800-690-8969 or write me, Bob Kessler, at my office — American Benefits Company LLC, 30095 Northwestern Highway Suite 101, Farmington Hills, MI 48334.

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