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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 31, 2005 / 26 Av, 5765

Little protection from Medicaid estate recovery

By Jan L. Warner & Jan Collins


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Q: My father died after 3-1/2 years in a nursing home. He ran out of money after six months, and was on Medicaid for the past three years, during which the home took all of his Social Security and left him $30 per month for his "extras." Not two weeks before he died, his older sister died without a will — meaning that Dad inherited nearly $80,000 from her estate. We opened Dad's estate and received claims by the state Medicaid agency for everything Medicaid had provided to Dad for those three years — nearly $70,000. It doesn't seem fair that a windfall to my father should be taken from his family, since Dad had to sell everything to take care of my mother before she died. Is there anything we can do to preserve this money?

A: Probably not. The claim against your father's estate is being made under what is called "Medicaid estate recovery." At the death of a Medicaid recipient like your father, the state Medicaid agency is required by federal law to recover from his estate the Medicaid dollars that were expended for him during his lifetime for nursing home, hospital and other medical expenses.

While the most usual target of Medicaid recovery is the family home, other assets are certainly fair game. In order to recover from his estate, the Medicaid expenses must have been paid after your father reached age 55.

Each state is required to establish criteria for "hardships" that will exempt persons in certain situations (prescribed by the state) from recovery efforts. For example, if an unmarried adult child lived with your father in the family home for a year prior to his death, there would be no recovery. And, according to federal law, there would be no recovery if your father was survived by a child who is under 21, blind or disabled. Also, there could be no recovery until after the death of both the recipient and his/her surviving spouse. In some instances, recovery is waived if there would be an undue hardship (this is seldom granted) or if the recovery would not be cost-effective — such as where there is $10,000 in assets to pay a $100,000 claim. Each state has somewhat differing laws that deal with recovery, but all must comply with the established federal guidelines.

Here, even if your father had not died, in all probability he would have been disqualified from receiving further Medicaid benefits when your aunt died, and he would have been required to spend down the inheritance received from her. What can you do? Probably nothing that would be successful. The problem here is that your aunt did not prepare a proper will. That's why it's always a good idea for family members to review not only their wills, but also the beneficiary designations on their life insurance, annuities, IRA's, 401(k)s, and pensions so as to either exclude incapacitated family members as beneficiaries or create special needs trusts for them.

Q: After my father died, I moved in with my mother because her health was failing. Four years later, after Mom has suffered several strokes and hospitalizations, the doctors tell me I should begin looking for a nursing home for her. Realizing that her assets would not last long and that her income of $890 per month was insufficient to pay for her care, I began looking for a Medicaid nursing facility. Was I ever shocked at the admission process and the complications involved! The hospital discharge personnel are nice, but have been very little help. Exactly what are the admission rules, and how will I know the best thing to do?

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A: Unfortunately, the nursing home admission process is anything but easy, especially if you have little or no money. Because there are no centralized filing procedures, you will have to visit a number of facilities, complete applications, and see your mother placed on waiting lists for a bed. This process can be very frustrating, especially when a family member is in a hospital and their Medicare days are running out.

While the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 includes a number of "guarantees" that are supposed to keep folks like your mother from waiving her benefits, practically speaking, everything is a negotiation. Discrimination by a Medicare- or Medicaid-certified facility against Medicaid-eligible residents is prohibited in many instances; however, nothing expressly prohibits unfair admission practices based on source of payment. In fact, only a handful of states expressly prohibits this type of discrimination and prevents Medicaid-eligible individuals from being refused admission or placed on Medicaid-only waiting lists even though beds are available. Since the admission procedure is so important and complex, we strongly suggest that you seek the assistance of a private geriatric care manager (www.caremanager.org) who can talk with the hospital discharge planner and help you find a suitable facility for your mother. We also suggest that you contact an experienced elder law attorney in your area who can review the admission documents to make sure that your mother's rights are neither restricted nor altered.

In any event, don't sign any admission agreement that contains a requirement that you will guarantee payment.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JAN L. WARNER received his A.B. and J.D. degrees from the University of South Carolina and earned a Master of Legal Letters (L.L.M.) in Taxation from the Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a frequent lecturer at legal education and public information programs throughout the United States. His articles have been published in national and state legal publications. Jan Collins began co-authoring Flying SoloŽ in 1989. She has more than 27 years of experience as a journalist, writer, and editor. To comment or ask a question, please click here.

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