Many types of asset transfer are violations of Medicaid’s 5-year look-back rule; however, the Medicaid Caregiver Child Exemption is an exception.
What Is the Medicaid Caregiver Child Exemption?
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Many people do not realize how costly a nursing home or in-home caregiver is until they begin looking into it for a relative. In fact, long-term care is often so expensive that very few people can pay for it out-of-pocket for an extended period. Because of this, many people “spend down” assets like their house so Medicaid will pay for the expenses involved in living at an assisted living facility.
Since most people do not like giving up everything they worked for, they often opt to transfer assets to their family members. Due to this, Medicaid has a “look-back” period of five years to be sure that assets are not given away just to qualify for benefits. Under the law, some assets may be able to be kept in the family while the elderly relative is cared for in a nursing home care facility. One such transfer is the Medicaid Caregiver Child Exemption.
At the Law Office of Paul Black, we have extensive experience guiding Medicaid applicants through this option and more. If you’re interested in learning whether you and your family should take advantage of the Medicaid Caregiver Child Exemption, contact an elder law and estate planning attorney at our firm today, or read on for more information.
Qualifying for the Medicaid Exemption Child Caregiver
The caregiver exception is great for families, but they must first qualify to receive the benefits. The first criteria they must meet is the child must have lived in the home for at least two years prior to the parent moving into a nursing home.
Of course, there are limitations to ensure that the exception is not abused. In order to qualify, the caregiver must be a biological or adopted child — a grandchild, niece, or nephew does not qualify.
What kind of care the child provides depends on if the family is available for the exemption. If the child’s caregiving duties are limited to cooking dinner sometimes and picking up prescriptions, that is not enough.
The care should be enough that the child is the only reason the elderly parent is not in a nursing home. When you consult our attorneys about your interest in using this exemption, we’ll help you determine whether you meet these qualifications and, if so, help you compile any medical records and additional documentation necessary to establish it.
What Services Can the Caregiver Exemption Medicaid be Used for?
Medicaid provides so many services for elderly individuals so they are able to continue living at home that it is more than just home health care. The benefits depend on the state of residence of the Medicaid applicant and the level of care they need based on the coverage they have.
The following is a list of the general benefits people can receive:
- Home Health Care – Provided in-home by trained healthcare professionals like nurses.
- Home Care – Also called personal care, this is not medical care and can be provided by family members. This is help with bathing, eating, or walking around. Some states consider personal care as a part of a Medicaid waiver.
- Homemaker Services – This type of service helps with chores, grocery shopping, and making meals.
- Caregiver Support – These specialists train families to care for relatives and provide respite care or give them a temporary break to avoid burnout. This is available in almost every state.
- Environmental Modifications – Sometimes, homes or cars are modified so the elderly can still do things on their own. For example, a chairlift may be installed so they can get upstairs. Other alterations could be wheelchair ramps or walk-in bathtubs with a seat. Medicaid will usually pay for half of this.
- Medical Supplies – Medicaid will typically pay for medical supplies the elderly person needs. The family or caregiver should follow the guidelines on how to get supplies through Medicaid so they get the maximum benefits.
- Nutrition – This service will help families decide on delivered meals, follow any nutritional guidelines set forth by a doctor, or take supplements.
- Personal Response Services – These are programs where an elderly person can be by themselves for a while and still have access to emergency services.
- Transportation – This provides rides to and from appointments or for recreational activities. This does not cover emergency medical transportation.
- Hospice – For those expected to live less than six months, Medicaid provides end-of-life care to those who are terminally ill. Sometimes, Medicaid will allow the individual to remain at home while hospice care is provided.
- Adult Day Care – This is the care of an elderly person outside the home. They will help with personal care, provide meals, and do activities for them. Seniors may be able to live in their home with this option.
For more information on the types of services you or your loved one could receive, please reach out to our law office in Atlanta.