Watch Out for the ‘Medicaid Private Detectives’
This blog post was contributed by Attorney Christina Accumanno.
Title 19 (also referred to as Medicaid) is a government program providing funding to cover long term care to those who financially qualify. In order to qualify, many people have to “spend down” their assets. With proper planning, there are certain transfers that are considered exempt by Medicaid, and these can be used in the spend-down process. Other types of transfers, however, are not permitted.
Upon applying for Medicaid, a case worker from the Department of Social Services is assigned to your case, and he or she essentially acts as a private detective poking and prodding into your financial transactions. The caseworker will find out if you are hiding something about your assets and income. If transfers appear suspicious, Medicaid benefits may be denied or months of ineligibility may be imposed.
Because of the complexity of Medicaid rules, you should consult an elder law attorney prior to taking any action. If you or a family member requires long term care in your home or in a nursing home, the legal team at Brown, Paindiris & Scott, LLP can answer your questions.