Elder Law is the area of law that is centered on those 55 years of age and older. It encompasses long term care planning, estate planning, Medicaid planning and application, guardianships, trust administration and estate administration.
Elder Law – Questions/Answers
- 1: Will Medicare cover my long-term care expenses?
Medicare generally does not cover long-term care stays in a nursing home. It will cover up to 100 days in a skilled nursing facility after a hospital stay if certain conditions are met. The patient MUST be ADMITTED for at least three days.
- 2: What is the Medicaid application process like and how do I protect my assets?
The Long-Term Care Medicaid application process in Ohio consists of first spending down your assets to be eligible for Medicaid to cover your nursing home costs. It is recommended that an attorney be hired for guidance on asset spend down and preservation of assets within the Medicaid rules. The application is then submitted to the local county’s Jobs & Family Services, followed by a resource assessment interview with a caseworker, verifications submitted, a Level of Care Assessment is performed to make sure the patient needs to be in a nursing home, and then the case can be approved.
- 3: How much needs to be spent down to be eligible for Medicaid?
For a single person in a nursing home, their assets must be spent down to $2,000 in order to be eligible. For married couples where one spouse is in the nursing home and one spouse is at home, currently the couple needs to spend down to where the community spouse has between $24,720 & $123,600 in assets and the spouse in the nursing home has up to $2,000. The exact number will depend on the couple’s resources on the date of the admission to the nursing home. These numbers change yearly.